Toasters, blenders and silverware constitute traditional wedding gifts, but the residents of Temecula, Calif., had something a little bigger in mind for a local hero’s recent celebration: the wedding itself.
On April 27, Marine Cpl. Juan Dominguez and his now-wife, Alexis, wed in a $30,000 ceremony provided by the townspeople. Local businesses, friends and strangers donated such items as the cake, makeup and flowers, and they even paid for the rehearsal dinner, entertainment and reception venue.
Dominguez met Alexis when he was an outpatient at the U.S. Naval Medical Center in San Diego. In 2010, as he was serving in Afghanistan, Dominguez stepped on an improvised explosive device that took his legs and right arm.
“I thought she was cute, so I kind of dumped my girlfriend at the time and asked her out,” says Dominguez, who uses prostheses, of meeting Alexis. “I flew her to DC to watch me race in the Marine Corps marathon, and she thought I was crazy for flying her out there.”