DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado soldier followed a time-honored tradition, marrying his fiancee during a holiday leave, but this couple said their “I dos” in front of the fully-lit Denver City and County Building.

Specialist Mitch Junker is from the Denver metro area but he met his bride Valerie while he was stationed in El Paso, Texas.

He was deployed to Afghanistan for what was supposed to be 9 months, but it was extended so he ended up coming home on leave. That’s when he and Valerie decided not to wait anymore and so they tied the knot in a small ceremony Friday.

“We wanted our first anniversary to be 12/12/12,” Junker said.

Junker has to return to Afghanistan Christmas Eve for another 8-month deployment, so the honeymoon will have to be delayed.

And even though there was plenty of love and smiles, Valerie admits saying goodbye in a matter of days will be tough.

“I’m probably going to be devastated, but I’ve already said bye once, so it shouldn’t be too hard the next time,” she said. “I like to be strong and not cry because it makes it hard on both of us, so we both just have to be strong about it.”


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