By noon Jan. 26 there was a wedding cake, decorations, flowers, champagne, rings and a room full of supportive Air Force family members dressed in blues with cameras in hand. As Pachelbel's Canon in D played and the lights were dimmed, Kristen Owens walked down the hallway to her groom.
After the ceremony and cheers from the teary eyed crowd, Soukup said his thanks.
"A month from now we would have been with our biological family. Today, we are with our Air Force family," he said. "Thank you for going above and beyond making today unforgettable."
Soukup wasn't expecting to deploy until his Air Expeditionary Force rotation in January 2008. Since his career field is undermanned, the Air Force attached him to another AEF. Next week, he will venture to Camp Victory in Baghdad and return to his bride in about six months.
Lt. Gen. Douglas Fraser, Alaskan Command commander, had a chance to congratulate the couple.
"We are very proud of them both and thank them for their dedication to our nation and our Air Force," the general said. "I'm grateful that our nation is blessed with men and women willing to make these types of sacrifices to defend our freedom."
After all the cake was gone, the bride and groom made their way to a decorated car, but not before walking through a row of airmen tossing shredded paper like confetti. As the happy couple's wedding day ended, they enjoyed a wedding gift from the 611th Air Operations Group -- a stay at a hotel downtown as part of what Kristen refers to as their "mini moon."