After a year of being away from Oklahoma, a sailor returns home with a big surprise for the woman he loves.
There was applause and there were tears at Will Rogers World Airport. It was hard to miss the sight just past the security checkpoint as one of Oklahoma's Own had a surprise for a woman he now calls his own.
After anxiously waiting, the big moment arrived for Jessica Ryhal. She welcomed her man, Brady Degroot, back to Sooner soil on Wednesday.
For the past year, Brady had been stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii keeping up a long distance relationship with Jessica who he has known since their years of playing in the band at Piedmont High School.
"We've been really good friends for like seven years," Jessica said.
Brady asked Jessica to extend that friendship for the rest of their lives. In front of all of the travelers at Will Rogers, the sailor had a special surprise for the woman he loves. Brady got down on one knee and asked for Jessica's hand in marriage. She said yes.
Weeks ago, Brady had asked Jessica to marry him over the phone while he was in Hawaii. That needed to happen in order to plan a wedding just after Christmas. But, Jessica had no idea he was going to make it official at the airport, and both had no idea it would happen in front of a TV news crew.
Thanks to Mom, who tipped off News 9, the surprise went off without a hitch.
"Were you surprised," asked Brady's mom to her future daughter-in-law. "I was surprised," Jessica said.
With Brady stationed in Hawaii, the couple will move to the islands in January. In the mean time, the sailor and his soon-to-be bride plan to spend some quality time in the place they love and call home.
"I never liked Oklahoma growing up, but now I can't wait to get back to it every time I leave," Brady said.
The couple says the key to a long distance relationship is key to any relationship … communication. Their wedding is set for Saturday, December 31, 2011.
The couple says they have racked up a phone bill of more than $970 over the past two months, keeping in contact.