LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Five years ago when U.S. Army Capt. Matthew Rorebeck, a Norwalk, Iowa, native, and the operations officer for 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, married U.S. Army Capt. Crystal Rorebeck, a native of Breckenridge, Texas, and the commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th IBCT, they made a promise to each other to renew their vows every five years on their anniversary. Neither one could have known that in five years on Aug. 16, 2013, both would be deployed in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Fortunately, both husband and wife were deployed in the same area and were able to uphold the promise they made to one another.
Matthew knew this event was not only a milestone in his marriage but also something important to his wife and coordinated with his battalion chaplain, U.S. Army Capt. Mickey Bashman, 3-7 Inf. Regiment, to ensure his wife's wishes were met. "I think it is important to realize that even in the day-to-day grind, while under pressure, and in the event of dark days that a deployment can have, that we all realize that the mission does come first, but we need to understand that family is what will be there after we take off our helmet and body armor," Matthew said.
Crystal and her husband did not need an elaborate ceremony to remind them of their promise to one another and planned a short, 10-minute ceremony in front of an Afghan sunset to renew their vows. "Renewing our vows didn't change the way we feel about each other, but it reminds us of the promises we made to each other five years ago," said Crystal. The promise was something they both wanted to uphold and celebrate even in the midst of a deployment. As a dual military couple, the Rorebecks face unique challenges as they juggle careers, training, deployments, and most importantly, their family. At times, it is difficult to get all five of their children together when planning around military life, school, and holidays but with the help of their supportive extended family, the Rorebeck's are able to train and deploy knowing their children are being cared for back home. The Rorebeck's plan to continue this tradition by renewing their vows again in five years and hope next time their family will be present to share the moment with them. "In the end of our careers, the Army will be a distant memory, but my husband and children will continue to be my happiness," said Crystal.