Soldier trades desert for penguins, wedding bells - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Soldier trades desert for penguins, wedding bells

Lee County - A South Georgia Soldier, just back from Iraq on leave, will get married Tuesday in a most unusual ceremony. This soldier from the desert will be wed on a frozen ice cap, surrounded by penguins.

Trey Johnson and Abby Shealy say Orlando is very special to them. A born romantic, Trey proposed to Abby in October there, with the help of a dolphin at Discovery Cove. "As the dolphin comes up, he gives her a buoy. She raised back to throw it, and catches her name on the buoy, and rotates, and sees it's my proposal to her to marry me. And she says 'yes,'" Johnson said.

Besides being a romantic, Trey Johnson is a Private First Class with the Army's Third Infantry Division. An artillery Forward observer, Johnson was on the front lines during the invasion of Iraq.

Now in his second tour, he is stationed near Tikrit. Abby is very proud of her fiance. "It's important what he is doing," she says. "He's fighting for what we need to be doing.We've got a lot of things here that they don't have."

Tuesday in Orlando, Trey and Abby will get married in the Penguin Encounter at Seaworld. Abby said, "They are doing this as a gift. They appreciate what he is doing, so they are going to give us this chance."

Trey has two weeks before he has to return to Iraq. "I'm know I got it coming. There ain't nothing I can do to get around it. Go back over there, do what I got to do, get back home again," said Trey.

"It's hard for him to be gone," said Shealy. "But he is coming back this time, and then that's it. He is getting out of the military after this, and he will be home for good."

Trey will have to spend six more months in Iraq, then he plans to leave the Army. His dream is to move to North Carolina, to train for a job in NASCAR, and start a family.

Johnson said he is proud of the work the American military is doing in Iraq, with the Iraqi people helping build their new country everyday.

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