The love and respect that the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation family has for the service members and families that we have met through our Building for America’s Bravest program is beyond compare. On Saturday, March 12, 2015, several members of the T2T team were honored to be part of a very special day for a service member we have had the pleasure to know and love for the past five years.

USMC Sergeant Mike Nicholson and the love of his life, Katie Shoemaker, were married in Tampa, Florida. We were fortunate to meet Mike prior to him meeting Katie, so it is extremely clear to us how perfect Katie is for Mike, and how much joy and love she has brought into his life. Of course, it didn’t take long for the T2T to fall in love with Katie, too!

The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. Katie walked down the aisle in a fairytale wedding dress to the song that played when Mike proposed. Mike could hardly contain his emotions. She looked beautiful and Mike looked so handsome with his medals proudly worn on his tuxedo jacket. Mike and Katie looked like the perfect couple as they exchanged their vows before the minister, with Katie’s daughter, Callie, watching nearby. We enjoyed hearing the story of how Mike and Katie’s love began – a true love story! We could not be happier for them.

The reception was just as wonderful. We had a great time watching Katie and Mike share their first dance and cut the cake. All night long, you could just feel the love between them as they sang, danced, and posed for photos; a beautiful night for two beautiful people.

The T2T team received some unexpected attention from Mike, Katie, and their family and friends who made it clear to us just how much the smart home has meant to them.

During one of the bridesmaid’s speeches, she thanked the Foundation for building such a special home for Mike and Katie, and expressed her gratitude for the family support that the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has shown to the couple. Special thanks was given to us from making the trip from New York to Tampa. Of course, we would not have missed the wedding for the world! We were touched with this shout out and, of course, thrilled to hear how much the home means to the couple.

It didn’t end there. Mike and Katie played a special song to dance to with the T2T family – “New York, New York.” We felt so honored to be part of their day and share in the fun and laughing. It was a special feeling to know that our presence on their big day meant so much. Building these special bonds is what makes the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation different from other organizations. Building the smart home is just a small part of our relationship with the service members and their families – we hope to share a lifelong bond!

We were touched deeply when one of Mike’s buddies from the Marine Corps approached us to tell us that had been wanting to thank us all day for building Mike and Katie’s smart home. He was seeing the home for the first time, and wanted to be sure to thank us for taking care of his friend. Of course, our response was that we owe OUR thanks to Mike and all service members for their service and sacrifice.  We thanked Mike’s buddy his service and wished him well! Hearing how much the smart home has meant to Mike and Katie drives our passion even more.

The most important part of our visit to Tampa was that we were able to spend time with Mike and Katie after the wedding to relax and speak with them. We feel so honored to have been part of their special day. Mike said to us that night how happy he was to be around friends and family and that as far as he was concerned the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was family. We couldn’t agree more!

Congratulations to Mike and Katie! All of us here at the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation wish them all the best and a lifetime of love and happiness. Thank you, Mike and Katie, for having us there to be part of your special day. There is nowhere else we would have rather been.