A 20-year-old veteran was able to marry the love of his life hours before he he passed away from his battle with cancer.
After joining the U.S. Army in July 2016, Tristan Laue was medically discharged just two years later when it was discovered he had a rare form of liver cancer, according to the Army Times. But Laue remained motivated to accomplish many more things, and even enrolled to study at the University of Northern Iowa.
Laue’s health, however, continued to deteriorate as the disease progressed, and with his time seemingly running out, the former soldier remained determined to cross one other thing off his bucket list: proposing to his girlfriend, now Tianna Laue, on Easter Sunday, according to KWWL.
“He’s the love of my life,” Tianna told the news station.. “My mom said, ‘Some people don’t get what you two had in the amount of time … They’ll be together for years and still not have the same connection that you guys did’.”
After their engagement, the couple’s relatives and community came together to throw a ceremony in the family’s backyard just a few days later on April 27.
Just five hours after exchanging vows, Laue would pass away.
Despite her sorrow, Tianna was happy she was able to enjoy even a brief time as husband and wife with her love.
”Make sure you tell people you love them because you never know when you won’t be able to,” said Tianna, who shares a birthday with Laue on May 11.
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Laue was laid to rest on May 4 at Crosspoint Church in Waverly, Iowa.
A GoFundMe page was recently set up by Laue’s former classmates to help pay tribute to the veteran with a memorial bench that would proudly display his name. Any funds leftover would be going to his family, organizers said.
They have since raised more than $4,800 of their $5,000 goal from 111 donors.
“The class of 2016 mourns our beloved classmate Tristin Laue,” the donation page’s description reads. “Help us remember a great Chickasaw who brought laughter and kindness to us all!”
Before his death, the University of Northern Iowa presented Laue with a certificate of completion after his last semester, and called him “officer material.”