World War II veteran used parachute for wedding dress

Ted Zimmerman used a parachute to build his wife a wedding dress.

BOISE - Veterans Day ceremonies were happening all across the Treasure Valley today including one at the Touchmark retirement home, a place where more than 60 veterans call home.

One couple got a little surprise on this Veterans Day.

Jackie and Ted Zimmerman met back in 1945 while Ted was stationed in Brussels during World War II.

This year, the two celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Today, the couple got share a little piece of that day with those at the Touchmark retirement home.

It's a love story that started back on New Year’s Eve 1945 in Brussels. Ted Zimmerman and a couple of his Army buddies were in a club when Jackie and her sister walked in.

"They looked around and swished their dresses a little bit and I said 'that one, that's for me,'" said Ted.

After dating for more than a year, the two decided it was time to get married. There was only one problem.

"The factories were all bombed out, everything. There was nothing in that society," said Ted.

Which meant there were no supplies for Jackie to make her wedding dress.

"Jackie called me on the telephone crying and said my mother wants us to be married in white," said Ted.

Thankfully for Ted, he knew a few soldiers in the parachute unit.

"I had a bottle of whiskey with me and I presented it to them and said can you help me. They looked around and looked around, and said ‘yes we do have a combat parachute,’" said Ted.

So Ted traded them one bottle of whiskey for white material.

"I kept the thread that was in it because we did not have any thread. It was a very difficult job," said Jackie.

The two got married August 31, 1946. Now, 70 years later, the parachute dress has been worn by both Jackie's sister and the Zimmermans’ daughter.

"It was a bit of a remembrance because all three of these young ladies were very petite," said Ted.

Three years ago, the couple donated the dress to the World War II History Museum in New Orleans.

"We didn't want to carry this wedding dress around in a box forever," said Ted.

So now the world gets to see it. And thanks to Touchmark and technology, the Zimmermans once again were once again able to see it through a live stream with the museum.

"It was really a surprise, but I was telling her, but it looks better when there's a person in it," said Jackie.

Along with the wedding dress, the Zimmermans also donated the dress Jackie was wearing when the two first met, her bridal hair wreath, and Jackie's Easter hat, which was one of the first things she bought once here in America.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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