Longview Sailor Comes Home for Marriage

A Longview sailor has come home to take some much deserved leave from duty and make a lifelong commitment. For 21 year old U.S.S. Boxer Sailor Stephen  Benson his time at home on leave is busy... making phone calls, seeing friends ...  and getting married Sunday.

"Most of the time I'm relaxing on leave ,but now doing a lot of running around getting things ready" says Benson. He met 21 year old East Texan April Petty a year ago, he drove from San Diego in November on Thanksgiving day to propose.

Home for only 10 days, he and his finacee are scrambling to take care of details, flowers, the guest list, decorating; and hoping everything goes okay.

"I'm kind of wondering whats going to go wrong because i've always been told that at least one thing goes wrong at a wedding and i'm like whats it going to be for me" said the future Mrs. Benson.

They will be married at Longview's Grace Creek Church, and Stephen's father, who is the pastor, will perform the ceremony.

"Fathering is the missing ingredient in our culture and I think fathers have an awful lot to pass on and give, and thats why its' important to me" said father David Benson. Stephen will go back to duty the day after Christmas, and his bride to be is already missing him.

"I'm proud of him and I let him know it all the time" said Petty. And the two are already getting some tips from dad.

"Life has its ups and downs you will have bad times as well as good, but if you remain friends love each other and keep god in center of your marriage you'll get through" said David Benson.

In a time when war and terrorism seems to dominate our news in the world, two young people are looking to a much happier time; together. The couple will be married on Sunday, and honeymoon at a cabin on Caddo lake. Stephen hopes to come back to Longview soon.  He goes back to duty on December 26th.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.