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Ashland couple marry in Sinai

Bride Janine Fisher wore an elegant white wedding dress and matching veil while holding a bouquet of orchids and baby's breath.

Groom Mark Tobin was all decked out, too ' in his best orange beret, finest desert camouflage uniform and spiffiest military boots.

The Ashland residents marched into military history when they tied the knot Sept. 28 on the South Camp military base in Sinai, Egypt, according to Guard spokeswoman Sgt. Rebekah-mae N. Bruns. They were the first couple ever to be married at the base, she said.

Tobin is a first lieutenant with the Oregon National Guard's 1st Battalion of the 186th Infantry. Fisher, 26, is a full-time student at Southern Oregon University.

The bridegroom and more than 500 other members of the Oregon Guard are taking part in the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping mission on the Sinai. Their job is to observe and report possible violations of the 1979 Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt.

The couple had been engaged to be married, but Tobin was called to active duty after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, Bruns explained, speaking for the couple, who were unable to be reached. He was deployed to the Sinai Peninsula early this past summer.

Thanks to a plane ticket provided by the groom's mother, the couple were married in Egypt.

But before taking their vows, they had to obtain a marriage certificate that would be legal in both Egypt and the United States, Bruns said.

After first going to the U.S Embassy in Cairo, they went to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice. Several ministries and translators later, they received a certificate that was translated, authenticated and approved in Arabic, Bruns said.

Their first official wedding was completed by an Egyptian government Marriage Corps official in Cairo. The newlyweds then returned to South Camp for the American version.

Company A 1st Sgt. Randell Mefford gave away the bride while Company Commander Capt. Eric Riley stood as Tobin's best man.

Filling the chapel were soldiers of the 1st Battalion, dressed in their best desert camouflage uniforms and telltale orange berets.

Chaplain Maj. Ron McKay, a minister in the Applegate Valley when he isn't in Guard uniform, officiated.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God and in the face of this company to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, he began.

With their wedding completed, the couple then walked under crossed rifles presented by the groom's fellow soldiers.

There was no word on where they spent their honeymoon.

Janine Fisher and 1st Lt. Mark Tobin walk under crossed rifles Sept. 28 after tying the knot on the South Camp military base in Sinai, Egypt. Tobin is stationed there with the Oregon National Guard.Photo courtesy the Oregon National Guard