Injured Army Soldier Marries on Couple's 'Favorite Holiday,' July 4

War 'hero' weds his California bride on Independence Day.

ByABC News
July 4, 2010, 5:10 PM

VISALIA, California, July 4, 2010 — -- Kenneth Mitchell is a patriotic man.

"My grandfather was a World War II vet, and I looked up to him quite a bit," Mitchell said. "He was a very good man, and so I went to go join the military."

Aside from serving as a staff sergeant in the Army, nothing says America like meeting the love of your life at an Applebee's restaurant.

It was a cold night in January 2009 when Mitchell, 25, walked up to the bar in Visalia, Calif., 40 miles southeast of Fresno. This would be his last night in Visalia before heading to the Mojave Desert for 30 days of infantry training and then eventually his tour overseas.

But something changed that night for Mitchell. He met Malori Williamson, 23, who was working as a bartender.

"He walked in, and from that day forward, we were stuck on each other," Williamson said.

Mitchell left the next day for training, but they continued to talk and make frequent trips to see each other.

In June of last year, Mitchell learned he would be deployed to Afghanistan. The two bought engagement rings -- his made of strong titanium to wear while at war. Williamson also learned that she was expecting a baby.

Mitchell was able to get a short leave back to America in February to witness the birth of his baby girl, Skyree.

Weeks passed with Mitchell in Afghanistan. Williamson was packing up the couple's belongings and getting ready to move into their new home near Ft. Lewis in Washington state.

In April, she got the call she had always dreaded: Her fiancé was badly injured in a roadside bomb attack. He was pulled from the wreckage; legs shattered and badly burned.

"You never expect it. Through the whole year I was pretty worried," Williamson said. "We kept telling each other ... we're finally going to be together again."

A week later, Mitchell was flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Williamson went to be by his side.