Alison Ferrell’s “something blue” at her May 13 wedding in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, was certainly something special.
Her 92-year-old uncle, Bill Lee Eblen, served as her “something blue” in his Marine dress blues.
“From the moment I got engaged I knew I wanted to include my uncle Bill in a special way,” Ferrell, 30, told ABC News. “I come from a family where we were taught to have the utmost respect and admiration for the armed services and honoring him as the ‘something blue’ just seemed like the natural choice.”
The bride-to-be formally asked her uncle while he was in the hospital recovering from pneumonia. It quickly became the primary motivating factor for his recovery.
“I immediately started doing more calisthenics, walking more instead of riding my little three-wheel bike,” Eblen recalled. “Then all the people around here were talking about, ‘You gotta get back in shape again. You’re laying around on your you-know-what too much.”
When his nurses would ask Eblen what his goal was, he’d reply, “To be her ‘something blue.’”
“He’s a tough, mean, Marine machine. I never doubted he would be there,” said his proud niece.
When the wedding day came he was ready, beaming from ear to ear as he was pushed down the aisle.
“I felt elated and honored to be a part of it,” he said.
Ferrell said her uncle, who is married to the oldest of her mom’s 13 siblings, no longer has his uniform from World War II, but “we were able to piece together a semblance of the uniform for him.”
“A neighbor of my parent’s is a Marine. He was able to give us a loaner uniform,” she explained. “We got him all dressed and put the medals and ribbons on him. He’s a sergeant, but the uniform was not a sergeant uniform. It didn’t have the appropriate chevrons on it.”
It didn’t matter to Eblen, though.
“Just to putting on that uniform again brought back a lot of great old memories,” he said. “It got me choked up.”
“Looking at him in his dress blues, it gave me a lot of joy to see how happy he was that day. And obviously a lot of pride for him and his service,” said the bride. “I really wanted to highlight that day and give him some recognition because he definitely deserves it.”