Weddings are beautiful celebrations of love and commitment, so this bride really wanted to make sure a certain special someone had an important role in her wedding day. When she realized she still needed to find “something blue” to take with her to walk down the aisle, she realized there’s been a constant influence in her life who had been known for wearing blue throughout his career. Her Marine uncle Bill Lee Eblen!
Alison Ferrell, a 30-year-old speech pathologist, knew she wanted to include her uncle in some special way from the get go! Who doesn’t want to involve their loved ones on their special day?! As soon as she got engaged, she started to include her uncle in her wedding plans. Needless to say, everyone was getting ready to experience a tearjerker moment!
AN EXCEPTIONAL GUEST
Alison married her beu, attorney Matthew Ferrel in the beautiful Old St. Vincent´s Church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. They both come from families that include service members, so it was important to them to include Uncle Bill in a special way.
SENSE OF PURPOSE
Bill Lee Eblen, now better known as ‘Uncle Blue’, is now a 92-year old veteran, having served during World War II and the Korean War, even serving in combat on Naha in Okinawa. He served in the Marine Corps and later became a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. This man is a force to be reckoned with, so don’t be fooled by his sweat demeanor!
A DETERMINED MAN
The proud niece and soon-to-be bride, formally asked her uncle while he was still in the hospital recovering from pneumonia if he’d love to be her “something blue”. You know what happened next! Tears, pride, and tons of joy invaded these two! And despite his extended rehabilitation and becoming sick before the wedding, his determination made it possible to be part of the wedding nuptials on May 13th,2017.
YOU’LL MAKE IT THROUGH
In fact, Uncle Eblen made it his personal goal to be fit enough to be part of his niece’s special day. When nurses asked him, he replied that his goal was `To be her something blue´. Once a marine, always a marine and Alison never doubted he would make it!
Thanks to a veteran neighbor, Eblen was able to borrow a Marine uniform that closely resembles his original Marine blues. Alison explains that they weren’t able to get all the appropriate chevrons to make his uniform befit his sergeant rank. Uncle Eblen didn’t seem to mind though, “Just to putting on that uniform again brought back a lot of great old memories,” he said.
HER SOMETHING BLUE
Eblen, who lives at a nearby veterans home in Anna, Illinois, was wheeled down the church’s aisle in a wheelchair, proudly wearing his uniform, complete with blue pants, and carrying a sign that read, “I’m her something blue.” Yes you were, uncle Bill!
AN EXTRAORDINARY DAY
We doubt there were many dry eyes in that chapel on May 13th. What a wonderful sight to see the happy bride and groom next to the beaming “something Blue” uncle. That day was special, not just for the happy newlyweds but also for the beloved veteran: “It was so special to me!” said Eblen.
The happines of the Ferrell wedding didn’t just stay in the family. Oh no! Happy moments tend to go viral quite fast! Alison posted her story and pictures of the wedding party on the ‘Love What Matters’ Facebook page, where it rapidly spread and went viral, receiving over 110,000 reactions and 26,000 shares on the first day. Alison’s and Uncle Blue’s story has touched and inspired so many people, truly offering faith and love to the world.
The United States Marine Corps motto is “semper fidelis,” also known as “always faithful. Uncle Eblen’s determination and his family’s faith in him made an already special day into a story of goodness and celebration of love and service, for us all to share. Spread the love!