It was an exciting way to celebrate Veteran’s Day on “Good Morning America,” and one very special woman, Jackie Fairchild, got the surprise of a lifetime when her boyfriend, Sam Peikert, a Coast Guard petty officer, third class, with the Tactical Law Enforcement Team South in Opa Locka, Fla., popped the question live in our Times Square studio.
The surprise proposal came during pop singer Jason Derulo’s live performance of his song “Marry Me” after the couple entered the studio surrounded by 70 other service members.
“I’m a little shocked still,” Fairchild, who believed she was attending “GMA” to honor Peikert for Veteran’s Day, said. “A little shocked.”
As Peikert got down on one knee, Fairchild immediately began tearing up, covering her mouth with her hand, nodding her head “yes,” astonished at what was actually happening.
“I was very nervous,” Piker explained on “GMA Live!” of his surprise proposal. “She doesn’t like to be in front of a lot of people, in front of America.”
A shy Fairchild had no idea what was in store for her on this Veteran’s Day and was confused when she was pulled into the green room to begin hair and makeup this morning.
“They came to me and started doing my makeup,” she said. “And I was like, ‘Wait. I didn’t think I was going to be on TV.’ I was kind of adamant about it. When I got to the green room, they just pushed me out there, and I guess I know why now.”
Fairchild’s new fiancé, Peikert, was named the USO Guardsman of the Year on Oct. 25. He received the honor in recognition of his role in helping to save a father and son who were swept over a 20-foot dam on the San Marcos River in Texas. Peikert, who was off-duty at the time, dove into the water and swam 50 yards through rapids to get to the injured pair. Peikert and his brother towed the father and son to land and administered first aid to them.
To help honor Peikert’s bravery and celebrate the newly engaged couple, Derulo performed live as part of the USO’s Every Moment Counts, a national campaign asking Americans to show their gratitude to military servicemen and women and their families by committing to help create and provide these real, everyday moments for troops.
“Today we’re launching Every Moment Counts,” Derulo explained. “A lot of these amazing guys like this miss out on these moments. You hear stories of fathers watching their babies being born and not being there for nine months, so we’re trying to make every moment count.”
David’s Bridal is also showing its support, gifting Fairchild with a wedding gown and offering a 20 percent discount to all service members and veterans through Nov. 15.
If you’d like to show your support to the troops, visit USO.org