Same-sex couple ties knot at Phoenix VA on 12-13-14

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- On 12-13-14, couples around the country got married so they could have a rare anniversary date. But for one Valley same-sex couple, the location was just as meaningful as the date.

It was the first same-sex ceremony at the VA hospital in Phoenix.

A disabled veteran and her bride had a ceremony in the VA chapel, something they said took some effort to do but in the end was worth it.

It's the moment Barbara and Janice Coleman had been waiting for after 27 years together.

"We needed a date that would give us a very solid core and a very bonded meaning, something that was going to be special just for us," Barbara Coleman said.

“We liked the sequence of the numbers 12-13-14,” Janice Coleman added.

They wanted their ceremony to be in a special place, the VA chapel.

Barbara Coleman, an Army veteran, said she's been getting treatment at the VA hospital for 18 years.

She said it was important to her to have her ceremony there, but it almost didn't happen.

Barbara Coleman said the VA first told her she could but then canceled. When it didn't look like it was going to happen, the hospital gave the final approval on Monday.

“That should not have been the attitude,” Barbara Coleman said. “It should have been, 'By all means, what can we do to assist you?' "

The VA told 3TV the confusion was that there is no policy on weddings in the chapel, but it's now working to create one.

The couple said they're happy that challenge is over because, as a same-sex couple, they have had to face a lot of obstacles.

They're just happy they've done so together, hand-in-hand, and they vow to continue to be by each other's side through thick and thin.