A crowd of over 100 people gathered around 2 p.m. September 2 as Keri Ann Snow and John Leight stood before Diane Axent to be wed at the Wharf Rat Rally.
The pair first met while on tour in Afghanistan, bonding immediately over their shared experiences as veterans and struggles with PTSD.
“This couple has served on many battle fronts, making a world of difference, and in all of that found each other,” said Axent.
Pushing through PTSD together
Snow and Leight together have over forty years of military service under their belts.
Snow’s daughter, Aeris, recounted when her step-father knew Keri Ann was the one.
Snow walked up to Leight as he was having a panic attack, placing her hand on his shoulder.
She was the only person to do that.
“It was right when her hand touched his shoulder that he knew he loved her,” said Aeris.
“It’s the most romantic thing you could ever think of.”
During the ceremony, the couple shook slightly as nerves took hold.
“I know sometimes we’re all full of nerves, so I want to check in and see how you’re both doing,” said Axent.
“We’re better, now,” said Snow, smiling.
Unique vows for a unique love story
Snow said Leight first came up with the idea four months ago.
“Wharf Rat has always been a special place for us, and John joked we should make it happen at the rally,” said Snow.
“Two months later, he said, ‘okay we’re really doing it,’ and that was that!”
The couple stared deep into each other’s eyes, service dogs by their sides, as Axent prepared their wedding rings.
Leight laughed and choked back tears as he said his vows, written by he and Snow, to his soon-to-be wife.
“I will treat you as good as my leather and ride you as hard as my Harley,” they each said to the other.
“We wanted to make sure we had a bit of ourselves in the wedding,” said Snow.