January 02, 2013 - Home on leave from overseas, U.S. Army Specialist Andrew Ferguson brought 2012 to a close as a married man.
Andrew and Rachael (Meitz) Ferguson exchange vows in downtown Clarkston. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
Andrew and Rachael (Meitz) Ferguson, both of White Lake, exchanged wedding vows in downtown Clarkston, Dec. 23, specifically, the conference room of the Movement recruiting firm in the Clarkston Mills.
"We were looking at Depot Park, but it's too cold, so we looked over here," Andrew said.
"We saw the building with its bay window and the bridge, and we really liked it," Rachael said.
"We like how the conference room looks out on the bridge," said Andrew. "It has a Norman Rockwell look. We really like the atmosphere."
The wedding was officiated by the Rev. Sheila Francis, who is friends with Rachael as well as Michele Bradley, Andrew's aunt who works at Real Estate One in downtown Clarkston.
"It's a beautiful setting, it really is," Bradley said. "I'm glad they ended up here."
"We were very happy to provide a nice place, "said David Bradley, headhunting services director at Movement. "We love the village, it's a great place."
Andrew is a highly decorated medic with the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, First Armored Division, based in Germany. He deployed with the unit for a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2011, where he went out on several combat missions.
He and Rachael have been friends since elementary school.
"He would help me with my homework," Rachael said.
Attending different high schools, they lost touch for a while but got back together thanks to social networking.
"I wished her a happy birthday on Facebook and we started talking and reminiscing," he said. "We clicked – physically, emotionally, spiritually, it's all there."
"We share our values. We match," Rachael said. "He always supports me just as I do for him."
Andrew has 14 months left in his enlistment, after which he will get his pharmacy technician's license.
Rachael is a University of Michigan graduate studying social work at Oakland University.
The couple plans to settle in the area.
"This is where we grew up – our friends and family are here," Andrew said.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.