Ashley and Erik
How We Met
Ashley and I are both in the United States Army, and we initially met during a military school located at Fort Bliss, TX., and at that time, we were just classmates. I was stationed at Fort Bliss at the time, and she was stationed in Arlington, TX. Months after the graduation of our military school, I found myself on an official business trip in Fort Worth, TX. Now, at the end of every military school, classmates usually exchange emails and phone numbers to stay in touch, so while I was in Fort Worth, I remembered that Ashley was stationed in Arlington, which was only minutes away. I went through my phone, found Ashley’s number, and sent her a friendly text. Moments later, she texted me back and we decided to meet up for some lunch. Our lunch had went so well that we had decided to meet up for dinner that Friday. I liked Ashley, obviously more than a classmate, so I scrambled to find a nice place for dinner.
I ended up making a reservation at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, located at the top of the Reunion Tower in Dallas, TX. I wore a three piece suit and she wore a little black dress that made me speechless. We ended up having an amazing night that consisted of light and fun conversations. At the end of the night, she asked if I had ever been to the Texas State Fair, which was currently happening at the time. I told her that I had never been, so she told me that she was going to take me the next day. We ended up spending the weekend trying all sorts of food at the State Fair and staying up late at night drinking wine and getting lost in conversation. When the weekend was over, it was time for me to return to Fort Bliss, TX, which was 8.5 hours away. Little did I know, that this amazing week with Ashley would lead to a relationship that would blossom into a “Forever Yours” story.
how they asked
Closing in on the date that I was going to propose to Ashley, the United States Army decided to move me from Fort Bliss, TX to Fort Benning, GA. Being 13.5 hours away from Austin, TX, I had to rely on her co-workers to help me get everything prepared. My plan was to fly in on the day before her birthday and link up with the photographer and florists to ensure that everything was prepped. Now, Ashley was already expecting me to come in on the day of her birthday, obviously to celebrate her birthday, but also to attend her military ball in Dallas the next day. I had told Ashley that I was supposed to fly in at 5:45 pm on her birthday and our dinner reservations was at 6:30 pm, so we were going to have to go directly from the airport to her dinner, therefore she completely believed that I was flying in on her birthday.
About three weeks before the day of my flight, I contacted Ellise Nicole, a photographer in Austin, TX, to capture the moment, David Kurio Designs to design the perfect flower arrangement for the moment, and Jack Graham at Woodsbury Engagement Rings Boxes for a custom engraved ring box. I then contacted her co-workers to help get Ashley to the proposal location without her knowing. Now, Ashley and her co-workers run the stairs at Mount Bonnell once a week during their lunch workout, and my plan was to step out in full military dress with formal cap and white gloves at the moment she would least expect anything. Everything was set until the day before I was supposed to fly. The day before my flight, she told her co-workers that she was not going to workout on her birthday and that she was going to leave early after lunch to get ready to pick me up from the airport. After this statement, one of her close co-workers and I started brainstorming on how we were going to get her to Mount Bonnell. We ended up deciding that her co-workers were going to have a “Birthday Lunch” for her at Mount Bonnell where I would be waiting for her. Moving to the day of my flight, I took the first flight out of Columbus, GA at 6:00 am, and made it into Austin TX around 10 am.
While trying not to make anything seem unusual in my texts or phone calls with Ashley, I hurried around town to link up with the florist, meet up with the photographer, find a suitable location on top of Mount Bonnell, and meet up with the bakery that was making her birthday cake. After everything was finalized, I went to my hotel which was 3.5 miles away from her house, and spent the night prepping my military dress uniform, shining my shoes, and rehearsing my proposal. The next day, everything from the florists to the photographer went smoothly….except for the weather, the sky was blanketed with clouds and it looked like it was about to rain. After getting the flowers, I went to Mount Bonnell where I met up with one of her co-workers who helped me set up the flowers, and linked up with Ellise Nicole to go over everything one last time, and take some pre-proposal photos. While I was waiting on top of Mount Bonnell, Ashley’s co-workers were having a hard time getting her to go to lunch with them. Fortunately, they convinced her to have lunch with them and were able to get her to go to Mount Bonnell. As I stood on top of Mount Bonnell rehearsing my words and shaking uncontrollably, I prayed that the sky would clear up and that the sun would shine through during the proposal.
When we got word that Ashley had made it to the bottom of Mount Bonnell, the sky started to clear up and the sun shined through, making for a picture perfect proposal. As Ashley made her way to the location where they were going to have lunch on top of Mount Bonnell, she saw me….six hours before I was supposed to be in Austin, in full military dress, formal cap, and white gloves. I took her hand, brought her in close, looked her deep in the eyes, recited what I had rehearsed hundreds of times before, and then got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. She said YES!