Injured Iraq vet weds the woman who stuck by him
Peering into his fiancée’s eyes as he pronounced his vows of eternal commitment, Brian Fountaine showed no sign of the pain and anguish he has endured for so long.
It was exactly two years to the day since the Hanson native lost his lower legs in a Humvee explosion in Iraq. But as a sign of his survival, Fountaine stood upon prosthetic legs as he promised more than his heart to Mary Fountaine.
“I swear to you my feet,” Fountaine said, presenting her with another pair of prosthetics at the altar to a wave of laughter.
Now a married man, Fountaine says he has completed the final chapter in his long road to recovery.
“Today is the day Brian should have died and didn’t,” Mary Fountaine, 26, said Sunday, which the couple now call his “alive day.”
Following his near-fatal injury on June 8, 2006, Fountaine went through more than a year of physical therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., including the trials and errors of walking with artificial limbs. Through it all, his girlfriend, now his wife, was at his side.
On their wedding day, the two were again reminded of their good fortune.
“Thank you for not coming home in a box,” said the new Mrs. Brian Fountaine before raising a glass of champagne to her husband following the ceremony at White Cliffs Country Club in Plymouth.
The 26-year-old former Army sergeant cannot forget what it took for him to get here.
“It’s still a day full of anger (and) pain,” said Fountaine, recalling the events of two years ago. But Mary’s constant presence changed all that.
“It’s now a day much about love, sacrifice, companionship,” he said, citing Mary’s decision to move to Washington while he underwent physical therapy.
“That’s what I mean when I say sacrifice,” Fountaine said.
In April, the couple was presented with the deed to their home in Plymouth, which was built entirely by volunteers from Home For Our Troops at no cost to the Fountaines.
The act of kindness, they say, has brightened their future significantly.
“We’re gifted to be at the point now where we can get a job for exactly what we want, not a job to pay the bills,” Fountaine said.
Mary Fountaine, who has a degree in biology, said she has considered returning to school or completing an internship to further her career. Her husband, too, is still thinking over his options.
“I’d rather start on my own venture,” he said, although he is considering dispatch work for the Plymouth Fire Department.
His family agrees that only time will tell where Fountaine will go next.
“I don’t think there’s anything he can’t do,” said his father, Paul Fountaine, an arson investigator for the Boston Fire Department.
Children are also “on the list of things to do,” the newlyweds said.
For Fountaine’s mother, Roberta Quimby, who wrote about her experience and that of her son in a book, “My Son Is Alive,” the wedding comes as closure and a sign of things to come.
“It’s the ending of a long journey,” Quimby said. “A happy ending.”
Kyle Sutton may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.