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Two Military Veterans Given a
Free Wedding Through Operation I Do

  Sonia Meneses and Gregory Hendl will exchange wedding vows on Saturday, April 9, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza in Downtown Saint Louis. Meneses and Hendl were chosen as the first recipients of a “gifted” wedding through Operation I Do, a division of The Gifted Wedding.
  Sonia Meneses is a 12-year Army veteran who received a medical retirement from the Army in July 2008 due to complications from Meniere’s Disease, caused by exposure to the loud noises and explosions she experienced as a ground convoy driver while deployed in Iraq. Meniere’s Disease causes dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and pain. Meneses is also completely deaf in one year and 85% deaf in the other.
  Greg Hendl served in the Army for over 6 years and currently works as an Ammo Specialist at Ft. Campbell. Meneses and Hendl are both involved in the local chapter of Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
  Meneses and Hendl were chosen to receive a “gifted” wedding because of their unwavering dedication to our country, their strength in overcoming the everyday obstacles that were caused by their service and the continued service they provide to their community.
  “I am just so excited and I definitely feel like a princess! If you had asked me a few years ago if I could see myself getting married, I would have said no. I had given up on life. I didn't know what was out there any more and was to scared to look,” said Sonia. “I never thought I would find someone who wants to be there for me for the better and for worst. Then all this just happened and I am still in shock- happy shock. I will have the man of my dreams and a beautiful wedding and we are all alive and healthy and together. This means a lot to us, more than words can express.”
  The Gifted Wedding, founded in 2009, seeks to give deserving couples the opportunity to have their dream wedding when they otherwise could not due to a unique circumstance or hardship. Operation I Do, a new division of The Gifted Wedding, was created to grant wedding wishes for military couples that have sacrificed their health and relationships to protect our country.
  There are several ways to help The Gifted Wedding continue its mission. Please contact for monetary or other donations. Businesses who can offer wedding-related services should contact about donating. The Gifted Wedding is currently accepting applications for their future weddings.
  For more information about The Gifted Wedding, please visit or