DuBois’ father tells of ‘fairy tale’ love story cut short
‘THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL’
Tina Nash Christmas posted this comment on the PI website: “I had the honor to marry this wonderful couple and spend time with the family. I’ve married hundreds of couples, but this couple, by far, was enchanting. From the smile on the groom’s face the entire time, to the way he watched his bride, they were beautiful. My thoughts, my prayers, my condolences to the bride, the parents and to all the lives this courageous hero surely touched.”
The love story of Air Force Capt. Will DuBois and his bride, Ashley, cut tragically short Monday when DuBois’ F-16 crashed in Jordan, “is like fairy tale stuff,” his father said Friday.
William “Ham” DuBois of New Castle, who traveled to the East Coast this week for the return of his son’s body, shared details of the couple’s marriage, which occurred just before Capt. DuBois was deployed to the U.S. mission against the terror group ISIS.
Ham DuBois, who owns Innermountain Distributing in New Castle, said that he and his wife, Donna, were planning a trip to South Carolina in September when Will called.
“We had the talk,” Ham DuBois said. “It’s a horrible talk for a father and son to have. But he told me what he was thinking,” that he would propose to Ashley and they would be married before he left on the U.S. mission to weaken the extremist group that has seized territory in Syria and Iraq.
“He wanted to be sure she was taken care of if something happened to him,” Ham DuBois said.
Ham and Donna DuBois were at the wedding Sept. 30 in a park in Sumter. “It was just the five of us,” he said — Will, his bride, his parents and the civil servant performing the wedding.
The couple planned a more formal ceremony for July 4 in Colorado and had just sent a save the date card to friends and relatives.
Capt. DuBois, 30, a Rifle High School and University of Colorado graduate, died Monday when his fighter jet crashed after problems emerged early in what was to be a raid against ISIS.
DuBois’ F-16 was returning to base before engaging in the combat portion of its flight, the Pentagon said earlier in the week. Early reports said DuBois’ jet developed mechanical problems, but the Air Force said Friday that the crash is under investigation.
“We cannot speculate on the details surrounding the accident, but can tell you that there will be a thorough investigation into the matter,” a statement to the Post Independent said. “We ask, in an effort to avoid misinformation or misunderstanding, that people refrain from speculation until the conclusion of the investigation and all the facts are available.”
Ham DuBois said he has been told that will take 30 to 45 days.
“We don’t know anything yet,” he said.
Capt. DuBois was based at Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter. Fighter squadrons from Shaw have deployed repeatedly in recent years to support U.S. military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Mideast.
Ham DuBois said his son and Ashley Jones had met a couple of years ago when both were in South Korea, Capt. DuBois with the Air Force and Ashley teaching English in a local school.
Ham and Donna DuBois were concerned that her parents would be upset about being unable to attend the hurry-up wedding, but they said, “That would be wonderful.”
Ashley, Ham DuBois said, “is surprisingly strong. She’s so energetic talking about Will and their experiences.”
After her husband’s death, Ashley DuBois provided this statement to the Air Force:
“I loved him with all my heart and soul and I’m lucky to call him my husband. And I close my eyes and hear him laughing and see him smile and I’m forever grateful for all the love and joy that he brought to my life.”
On Friday, Ham DuBois said, Ashley was returning to her parents’ home.
He and his wife would soon be returning to Colorado, he said.
“My son is back in country,” he said. “Thank goodness.”
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