When Chyna was referred to me by our mutual friend, Kelly of Yellow Rose Photography, I was so excited that was available for her boyfriend's VMM-264 homecoming on MCAS New River. We chatted a few times over the months leading up to the homecoming on Facebook to keep in touch, because she lives in Charleston, SC. We finally met the night before her homecoming at Starbucks and spent hours talking about everything under the sun - including how her boyfriend had orders to Hawaii and that they were talking about getting married soon, so she could go with him. In fact, we talked for so long that my poor husband called me TWICE to make sure that I was okay! (Sorry, honey!)
The next day I met her and her fantastic parents (who drove up that morning from Charleston!) at the homecoming site. I thought it was fantastic that they wanted to be there to welcome Sgt Milton Grant home! But it got even better! How? While Chyna's dad distracted her, her mom filled me in on an amazing little secret... She had an engagement ring in her pocket! Milton was planning to propose. So much excitement! I nearly squealed!
We spent time in the hanger, chatting about the USMC and homecomings, passing the time until the we got word that the Ospreys were coming. Soon we were watching them fly over and land, then watching the Marines spill out and move into formation, while we desperately hunted for Milton. (You think finding Waldo is hard? Try to find a specific Marine in a sea of them!) The moment Chyna saw him, she was running, even though she swore she wouldn't!
Milton lead us out across the flight line to show us his Osprey and to give us an amazing background for pictures. I could hardly contain my excitement, because Chyna was absolutely clueless. She thought he was just really into posing and having fun in front of the camera. She was so incredibly surprised, when he told her he had one more pose in mind, then dropped to one knee. It was absolutely perfect... and, of course, she said, "YES!"
Welcome home, Sgt Grant! And congratulations! It was truly an honor to be allowed to capture this scene in your love story. I absolutely cannot wait to be there to photograph your big day in Charleston next month!