Marine proposes to sweetheart at Bush Airport

December 22, 2010 3:41:00 PM PST
It will be a Christmas to remember for one Houston family. Earlier today, a Marine returning home from training had a big surprise for his girlfriend. Right in front of our cameras at Bush International Airport's Terminal C, amidst the hustle and the bustle of holiday traffic, one arrival means a little bit more than most - especially for Madi Pickett.

"The last day, the last few hours is harder," Madi said.

She's waiting on Flight 131 from San Diego.

"I've been waiting so long to see him," said Madi.

Her boyfriend, Lance Corporal Gavin West, is a Marine who'll be home for just ten days before he deploys to Afghanistan. She's waiting as patiently as she can with Gavin's siblings and his mom.

"Everybody is gonna fight over who hugs him first," said mother Suzanne West.

And his dad.

"This is definitely making him grow up fast. The deployment has already changed him," said father Brad West.

But what Madi doesn't know is that her life is about to change too. At 1130am, the wait is over. The family rushes to greet their Marine and he hugs every one of them.

But then, Gavin pulls a box from his pocket and after telling Madi he's completely in love with her, he proposes.

"I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" said Gavin.

Madi said "Yes" to applause from travelers and workers

But we want to share with you something we almost missed -- Gavin didn't have the ring when he landed. As dad goes to hug his son, you can see him slips the ring into Gavin's pocket. From one Marine to another - an unparalleled homecoming.

The couple had discussed getting married, and after Gavin asked Madi's father for permission over Thanksgiving, he concocted the surprise proposal.

"Yes we'd talked about it. We'd talked about it," said Gavin, when we asked him if he knew Madi would say yes.

And now everyone else will talk about it too - that special holiday delivery on Flight 131.

Coincidentally, West's parents Brad and Suzanne, were married before Brad deployed to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Storm.

Gavin West will finish his deployment by the end of 2011. There is no wedding date set just yet.


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