By Staff Sgt. Jessica Montano, 55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 01, 2021
Mario and Monte Foreman-Powell pose for a photo together on vacation. (Courtesy Photo)
Mario and Monte Foreman-Powell pose for a photo in Hollywood. (Courtesy Photo)
A vocalist with the Heartland of America Band at Offutt Air Force Base and his husband were recently guests on an episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that aired March 23.
Senior Airman Mario Foreman-Powell said he originally wrote to DeGeneres explaining his husband’s selflessness.
“I wanted to let the world know how amazing my husband is,” said Mario. “He makes amazing gourmet cakes, he gets groceries for the elderly, and he’s always giving to those in need in our community.”
While on the show, the Foreman-Powells admitted to some challenging circumstances their family has faced, including having to hide their relationship for years.
“We were happy and we couldn’t even show the world we were happy,” said Monte Foreman-Powell, Mario’s husband.
The Foreman-Powells met at a church in Colorado. The couple was given an ultimatum when their relationship was discovered - annul their marriage and seek therapy, or leave.
“We have no public history, because we never took pictures or went on vacation,” said Monte. “We lived this private life for five years, and it was so dark and depressive.”
After learning the couple is eager to start a family, DeGeneres created a game for the couple to guess the prices of various baby items and eventually gifted all of the items to them, along with a check for $20,000.
“No one will understand the rush of emotions we felt when Ellen handed us that check,” said Mario. “It was a huge financial relief for us, and it took away so much stress. We are so grateful.”
The HOAB is local to Nebraska, but routinely (prior to COVID-19) visits high schools throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa.
“We are responsible for honoring those who have served, inspiring those who want to serve, and connecting with the community,” said Mario. “In a deployed environment, we perform for troops that are doing so much for us overseas.”