Two soldiers who recently ended their deployments have a new reason to celebrate after becoming engaged.
News 9 showed you their engagement last week. Sgt. Warren Fairleigh dropped to one knee and proposed to his girlfriend Specialist Bethany Pierce, who readily accepted. Now we are starting to get to know the story behind their romance.
The soon-to-be bride and groom say getting engaged in front of cameras and hundreds of people at the homecoming was nothing compared to falling in love in a warzone.
"So excited, so surprised, especially when he pulled out a ring," said Pierce, still blushing. "It's more than I can imagine."
Their next mission: marriage, but these two soldiers just started dating.
"We really loved each other and really wanted to date, but we had other people relying on us and we had to do our jobs first," said
They were on the same mission, both deployed with the 179th, but out of different cities, and their units attached with Oklahoma's 45th Infantry Brigade. Not to mention the fact that dating is not allowed when in uniform.
"Being able to find somebody that I could date, that's been over there and understands completely," Sgt. Fairleigh said. "[It is] amazing, really blessed in that regard."
It was their faith that brought them together at a Bible study one evening on base.
"Our faith and our beliefs are going to be the foundation of everything we do."
Dating didn't really matter to them.
"But she obviously liked me quite a bit," Fairleigh said jokingly. But he got serious when asked about the dangers of the mission. "I was afraid. I wasn't planning on proposing until I got back because I said, ‘We'll handle that if I live'."
"That was my worst fear, that I would have to treat him if he got hurt or something," said Pierce.
Fairleigh and his medic fiancée say, when you fall in love in warzone, walking down the aisle has taken on a whole new meaning.
"I definitely feel a little guilty to be able to come home and be so happy," said Fairleigh. "We had a very difficult mission, a lot of people hurt very badly, some people got killed."
Bethany and Warren plan to get married in the next month. He returned home 10 days before his soon-to-be bride. He says the first thing he did when he got back was meet her father to ask for her hand in marriage.