‘Mission I Do’ gives veterans free wedding at Odessa farm

ODESSA, FL (WFLA) — The idea to say “thank you” to the men and women who serve our military is growing into an amazing extravaganza. “Mission I Do” is a wedding contest and giveaway hosted by Old McMicky’s Farm in Odessa, Florida.

The Farm received dozens of entries from deserving Tampa based military couples and narrowed the entries to four worthy duos. In November, voting was opened to the public online and over 65,000 votes were received.

The man who owns Old McMicky’s Farm in Odessa, Ralph Zuckerman, came up with the idea. “They get the whole farm and the farm staff, they get a wedding planner, they get rings, they get catering for up to a hundred of their friends, flowers, the officiate, the photographer – anything they want to make their day which they deserve to be special,” said Zuckerman.

“Mission I Do” is also made possible by a team of vendors that donate their time and products to be part of the special grassroots way of saying thank you to wounded veterans.

This month wounded veteran Timothy Read married his longtime love Anh Du at the farm nestled on a 40-acre lake in Odessa. Read’s fellow marines, also wounded veterans, served as groomsmen, and even the couple’s retired Marine K9 Shadow showed up as the ring bearer. The wedding is something the couples says they will forever be grateful for.

“Time and money is not a luxury for us, and they really came through for us and we are just so grateful,” said bride Anh Du Read.

Dozens of couples submit their stories and are selected by online voting.

Timothy Read’s story touched many hearts. Read served two tours in Afghanistan in the 26 Gulf Company, 2nd Battalion 6th Marines. During his second tour in 2010, he was shot in the leg but did not leave his company; Read stayed and returned to his combat duties. Later that year, he stepped on an IED and loss that same leg. From that explosion Read also incurred severe damage to his other leg and a traumatic brain injury. All of his groomsmen were also wounded in combat suffering extensive injuries. His best man lost his leg below the knee, one groomsman is a double amputee losing both legs, and his other groomsman was shot in the neck.

“Having my marines standing beside me meant everything,” said Read.

“Mission I Do” is garnering attention nationwide and will continue to grow with community support. Find out more here.

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