"When I get back from Iraq," Nick Orchowski told his bride, "we'll do this the right way."
If only things would have been that simple.
Six weeks later, Cpl. Orchowski was sitting in an armored Humvee when it was hit by an improvised explosive device. His back was badly broken.
Days later, he remained unable to move anything below his neck.
"I couldn't talk at the time, because I still had a respirator in. I couldn't move," Orchowski said. "My body wouldn't produce tears because it was still in that spinal shock phase so I had no way to communicate. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't."
Years have done much to speed Orchowski's recovery. Nick has regained the use of all limbs, although he still struggles to do much with his right arm. He and his wife, Jamie, have two children and just moved into a "Homes for Our Troops" home this weekend. The home was built, free of cost to the Orchowski's, thanks to the nonprofit.
Yet, until this year, Nick had been unable to fulfill that promise he made inside a courthouse eight years ago.
9NEWS was fortunate to be there as Nick and Jamie renewed their wedding vows in front of a crowd of friends and family earlier this year. It was precisely the kind of ceremony Jamie had dreamed of long before the injury that nearly took Nick's life.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)