Deployed US Seaman to Marry High School Sweetheart in Reno Airport

By: ABC News Email
By: ABC News Email
Seaman Dylan Ruffer of Chester, Calif., has been deployed with the U.S. Navy off the coast of Syria for 11 months. But tonight when he steps into the arrivals terminal at Reno-Tahoe International Airport at 11:30 p.m., he

Dylan Ruffer and Madison Meinhardt, both 19, to wed tonight at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. (Courtesy Reno-Tahoe International Airport.)

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The bride is at a local salon getting the final touches to her hair and makeup.

Local businesses have stepped in to provide a DJ, a wedding cake and flowers for the reception. All that's missing right now is the groom.

Seaman Dylan Ruffer of Chester, Calif., has been deployed with the U.S. Navy off the coast of Syria for 11 months. But tonight when he steps into the arrivals terminal at Reno-Tahoe International Airport at 11:30 p.m., he'll find high school sweetheart Madison Meinhardt in her wedding dress, a preacher, their friends and families all waiting for him at the bottom of an escalator.

"Dylan said he wanted to marry me the moment he set eyes on me, so I wondered if we could get married in the airport," Meinhardt said in a statement from the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority. Even though Ruffer was far away in war-torn Syria, a marriage license was arranged, and the community rallied to the idea of a wedding and reception at the airport.

"Love is in the air at Reno International Airport" Brian Kulpin, a spokesman for airport, told ABC news. He said It all started when Meinhardt sent an email to the airport three weeks ago, asking if the couple could hold their wedding there.

"I've brought a lot of people home in a lot of sad circumstances," Kulpin said. Tonight's wedding, he said, was a welcome change.


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