First Sgt. Riley Flaherty and wife Kelly Flaherty with chaplain, Capt. Jose Serrano. (CREDIT:; Courtesy of Jenah Wieczorek)

Tanks and wedding bells usually don’t go hand-in-hand, but for one Army First Sergeant and his bride, the combo made for the perfect day.

First Sgt. Riley Flaherty and his wife, Kelly, were forced to replace the sounds of those wedding bells with tank fire after a schedule change in Riley’s training.

According to

They decided a small wedding would be best, with a deployment looming. They settled on an April 27 ceremony — her family had planned a visit that weekend — outside the 1st Cavalry Division Museum. Two weeks before the wedding, the couple learned the schedule for gunnery exercises had shifted, overlapping with their big day.

RIley’s Colonel, Lt. Col. Esli Pitts, suggested that rather than postpone the wedding, the couple should have their ceremony on the gunnery.

After some last-minute scrambling, the couple managed to locate a chaplain for the ceremony, Capt. Jose Serrano.

The groom asked permission to remove his safety gloves to perform the ring exchange. Soldiers cheered from tanks and watch towers.

“I just kept saying, ‘This is so amazing,’” Kelly told “The gunfire would go off, and I would giggle a little bit.”

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