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Soldier's surprise, romantic Lights on the Parkway proposal

Published On: Dec 19 2012 07:00:00 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 20 2012 05:58:29 AM EST

It wasn't a typical homecoming for a local soldier returning home from training.


It wasn't a typical homecoming for a local soldier returning home from training. It became a life changing surprise for someone special in his life.

For Matt Izarek, Wednesday was the day. It's been a secret since Tuesday night that he's home.

"She thinks I'm coming home Friday, so she's gonna be surprised when I walk out."

It's been five months since he's seen Ashley, the love of his life. And he wanted to make the night special. He planned everything, starting with a horse drawn carriage ride at Lights on the Parkway.

"She's gonna love it," he says nervously. "We're going to ride down there in the carriage and she's gonna be waiting there expecting to get on with my mom and my sister for the free ride."

The carriage area is busy as they pull up. And then it's time. He walks up behind her, and she immediately jumps into his arms. She's 18 and he's 19, but he knows he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.

"I just know she's the one and I love her a lot."

But it wasn't just a secret homecoming. After a few minutes of hugging and sharing the moment with friends and family, Ashley was in for the surprise of her life. Matt got down on one knee and proposed.

Matt leaves in two weeks for a two-year deployment in Colorado. He says the plan is to wait for Ashley to finish studying to be a nurse before they tie the knot. Family and friends waited to congratulate the couple as they got back from the carriage ride.

"I liked it, it was nice," smiled Ashley. "I wasn't expecting it at all."

Everyone checked out the ring. There was hugging and pictures, and lots of smiles.

"I have the whole night planned for us," beamed Matt.

Mission accomplished.