Despite running a few minutes late to the airport, Kaetlyn Miller, of Jacksonville, Fla., ended up getting an unexpected jump forward into the rest of her life once she got there.
Miller, 21, was racing to greet her then boyfriend, Sgt. Eric Parker, 25, at the arrivals terminal on Aug. 27 as he returned home from his 11-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“I pulled up at the airport and they had shut down the garage I was waiting to get into, with three cars in front of me,” Miller told GoodMorningAmerica.com. “And then he texted me, saying he had landed, and I was freaking out because I still had to park the car.”
Realizing she had to run in order to make it, Miller got to the arrivals area just in the knick of time before the soldiers were on their way out.
“I saw him and was so excited, I was trying to calm myself down,” she explained.
At the time, Miller had no idea she would soon have to calm herself down for a whole new reason.
One by one, fellow soldiers of Parker’s began walking toward Miller, each one holding a sign. The first one read “Will,” the second “You,” the third “Marry,” until it was finally Parker’s turn, holding the last sign that said “Me?”
“At first I was like, ‘Why did he have a Will sign?’” Miller asked. “And then everyone was like, ‘Oh, my God. Read the signs, read the signs.’ And then I was like, ‘Oh, I see what’s going on.’ It was so sweet.”
Parker says everything went according to plan because he did, after all, have 11 months to prepare.
“I knew before the deployment, I just wanted to wait for the right time,” he said. “I had 11 months to think about it, so I had plenty of time.”
The ring Parker gave his now fiancé is a “starter kit,” as he calls it, because he was never able to get off base during his deployment to make it to a jewelry store.
“Once we got to Fort Bliss, Texas, we weren’t allowed to go off post to go to any jewelry stores,” said Parker. “I was really limited to my selection, so I got the ring at the PX, the Post Exchange.”
The happy couple, who are planning to wed next spring, was excited to report they are actually going ring-shopping today.
“I want it to be perfect,” Parker said.