Gov’t Shutdown Creates Veteran Wedding Nightmare

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The looming government shutdown has become a nightmare for a veteran couple as it might nix their dream wedding.

Crystal Morales and her fiancé, Dereck Cloutier, served 15 months together in Iraq, and now after more than a year living apart, they are looking forward to their ideal wedding inside Ft. Snelling’s historic chapel.

“It’s just perfect,” Morales said of the chapel. “Everything that I wanted for my wedding, and I can’t … see myself getting married anywhere else.”

At the moment, Morales is busy planning her July 16 wedding, and she has vision in mind of how she wants it to be.

“I have a huge fancy dress; and they like open the doors for me; and I walk through; and they have these candles that are lit up on the pews like all the way down when I walk down,” Morales said.

However, she may not get to walk down that aisle if the state government shuts down on July 1.

The state park where the chapel sits is not considered an essential service and would be shut down if lawmakers can’t figure out how to fix a $5 billion deficit.

“We’ve been planning this for twelve months. This is the first thing that we’ve booked so to hear that there is a possibility that we can’t get married here … it’s super stressful and frustrating, “Morales said.

She says it doesn’t seem fair to be a veteran and to be told that she can’t get married at a military chapel.

Morales is trying to stay positive. Not just for her special day, but for the thousands that would be affected by a government shutdown.

“There is just so many things that could go wrong if they don’t come to a compromise,” Morales said.

She hopes lawmakers understand how much they are hurting people by not figuring out the state budget.

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