Veteran Pittsburgh-Area Couple Wins Free Dream Wedding
The couple are the winners of the Hotel Monaco's Warrior Wedding Contest.
photo by erin mccay of memories by mccay
McKeeport native Matthew Brown and fiancee Hannah Reese will tie the knot Dec. 13 at an all-expenses-paid dream wedding hosted by the Hotel Monaco in downtown Pittsburgh.
The couple are the winners of the hotel's Warrior Wedding contest. They were selected in a contest on the hotel's Facebook page among three couples profiled earlier this week. The winners were announced Sept. 11 at the Warriors Rock Concert at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland.
“As a Kimpton hotel, we recognize that a simple smile or thank you is able to transform a person's day,” Hotel Monaco general manager Rob Mallinger tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “With our Warrior Wedding giveaway, we're turning that concept up full throttle. … No one puts more of themselves on the line and in harm's way so selflessly, and we really wanted to do something to recognize that.”
In 2007, Matthew Brown had just returned home from a long and difficult year with the 2nd Marine Division in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq. He was sitting in a bar in McKeesport when a beautiful new bartender walked into his life.
Matt says meeting Hannah Reese was exactly what he needed at exactly the right time.
“She pulled me from my darkest places and helped me become the man and the father that I am today,” Matt explains. “Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day. I have to say, without Hannah, I most likely could have become a statistic. I was on a path of destruction. I was alone and scared. She helped me to see brighter days, urged me to seek help for the demons I was battling, and set me on the right path.”
Though Matt is the veteran, he says Hannah is “the true hero in our story.”
The lovebirds have two children together, Alayna, 4, and Colton, 8 months. Colton recently was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, bringing the fiancés' wedding plans to a halt. “Having our son be a part of our wedding is of the utmost importance to us,” says Matt. “We do not know how long we have with him, and all of our funds, time and energy currently go to caring for Colton. A dream wedding would mean the world to us.”