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Air Force flight nurses tie knot on C-17

Department of Defense News Service

Published: 02:06PM May 31st, 2018

315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Capts. Amanda, left, and Derek Martindale raise their hands after being pronounced husband and wife during their wedding ceremony aboard a Joint Base Charleston, S.C., C-17 Globemaster III May 19.

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. — It’s not too unusual to propose to the love of your life on the job. But it’s less likely that it happens on a mission in Alaska, and even less likely to tie the knot on a C-17 Globemaster III transport jet.

But this is just what happened for two 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurses from Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

Air Force Capts. Derek and Amanda Martindale married May 19 aboard a static C-17 at Joint Base Charleston in a small ceremony on the flightline, presided over by an Air Force chaplain.

“Between Amanda and I, we have four wonderful children, and enough pets to fill a small zoo,” Derek said. “Amanda is the most caring and compassionate person I know.”

Joined by family and friends, the two read their vows and wed, capping a friendship almost four years in the making. Also in attendance were their many squadron members who came out in support of the new union.

The squadron was supportive and excited for them, the couple said. In fact, they said, squadron member Air Force Master Sgt. Mary Troja told them when they started dating that ”at least the two of you are on the same page as everyone else now,” revealing that the squadron knew where their relationship was going before they did.

The Martindales said that having family, friends and squadron members in attendance was a blessing and that it’s a moment in their lives that they’ll never forget.

To finally have it all come together on the aircraft that has serviced so many of their friends and service members was “beyond an honor,” the couple said, adding that they were overwhelmed by the support they received.

Derek said the two met at Joint Base Charleston and immediately became friends and then best friends. After more and more time spent together over a year and a half, the two began officially dating in September 2016.

While on a mission to Alaska, Derek chartered a plane to the mountains, where he proposed while flying over Denali, the highest mountain peak in America.

“I said, ‘Amanda Jean, will you marry me?’” Derek said. “Perhaps she was delirious from the extreme cold when saying yes. In all seriousness, we both feel like we married our best friend. What a wonderful foundation to build a marriage upon.”