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Jacksonville International Airport military homecoming turns into a wedding proposal

6:39 PM, Aug 27, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Minutes count when trying to catch a flight, and Kaetlyn Miller rushed into the Jacksonville International Airport terminal around 2:09 p.m.

The flight she was waiting on was at 2:10, she admits, cutting it a little too close.

"They decided to close the garage on me," she said.

She spent an extra ten minutes circling the airport, trying to find parking.

"I'm here now though, so that's good," she said, taking a big breath.

She's able to relax because she's not actually catching a flight -- she's waiting for one to arrive. 

Her wait is for an arrival nearly a year in the making.

"Eleven months. It's been a long time coming," Miller said.

Her boyfriend, Sgt. Eric Parker, and the rest of the Army 602nd MP division is on the flight home. 

They've been stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

A little after 2:14 p.m. soldiers start walking through the exits, greeting other waiting families and friends.

Miller waits, holding her sign, talking nervously with a friend as soldier after soldier steps foot back on First Coast ground.

"Oh, I think that's him coming," was the exclamation that grabbed her attention.

It wasn't him, but a colleague of Parker's holding a sign with the word "Will" written on it.

"I can see that from here," Miller said, confused.

Another soldier with the sign "You" followed by "Marry" and then at the end of the long line Parker holding a sign that read "Me."

With that, Parker got down on one knee and proposed to Miller.

She said yes without hesitation. She'd been waiting 11 months for this.

"I went from being really stressed to really shocked," she said.

Parker said he had this proposal planned on the day he was deployed, and it was a total success.

"She gave me something to think about while I was deployed," he said. "Something to take my mind off the job over there, that definitely helps."

They were surrounded by both families, all of them knew about the plan.

Well, all of the except for Kaetlyn.

"I was definitely not expecting this," she said. "I'm in total shock right now."

Now the waiting game is over, and together all the couple has is time.

"I'm happy to be home," Parker said. "It was a long time coming, but totally worth it."

First Coast News

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