Alex and David

How We Met

David and I met when I was a sophomore at the United States Air Force Academy. We met down at the airfield where I was going through training to become an Instructor Pilot (IP) for the glider program. David was a year/class ahead of me and already an IP, so his class was teaching mine how to fly. David and I never actually flew together, but we did spend almost every other day teasing each other down at the airfield when we weren’t busy flying. We were only friends for that year and didn’t start dating until the beginning of my junior/his senior year. He will never admit it, but I was the one who got his number from a friend and texted him first. So, I would say I made the first move. Our first few weeks of actually hanging out were spent playing tennis, hiking, and camping with friends.

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I had never even hiked or gone camping in Colorado until he asked, and of course, I said “yes!” Our first date wasn’t until August 14, and I remember it like it was yesterday. David knew that I had never been surprised before on a date, so he wouldn’t tell me what we were doing. I had to run my outfit by him and everything. He ended up treating me to dinner at Seven Falls in Cheyenne Mountain. It was an exciting evening, to say the least. The fire alarm in the restaurant went off 3 times during our meal and each time we had to leave the building. As the firetrucks showed up, David said, “Our date was getting so hot, we set the fire alarms off so they had to send the firetrucks to help!” I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard. We spent the rest of the evening eating our complimentary ice cream by the waterfalls. After this night, the rest was history!

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How He Asked

Not only did David surprise me for our first date, but he also surprised me with his proposal! I am currently in pilot training at Vance AFB in Enid, OK flying the T-1. David got in touch with my flight commander and scheduler in order to find out when I would fly that week. They picked a day that de-conflicted with David’s flying schedule so he could drive up from his training in Altus, which is 3 hours away, the morning of. Of course, David told me he was flying that day and wished me luck on my flight. Our flights in the T-1 usually last about 3 hours, and I was sitting in the jump seat for the ride home while my flying partner flew his half.

On the flight home, my Instructor Pilot (IP) made a nonstandard radio call back to our squadron saying we were about 30 minutes out. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time. Once we landed, and we were back in the chalks, my IP said, “Hey jump can you open the door? I need to talk to the crew chief.” I said, “Sure!” I started to open the door and let down the steps, and that’s when I saw David in front of me getting down on one knee asking me to marry him.

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I was so surprised and so happy! Of course, I said “YES!” Come to find out, he worked with several people on base to get the timing right. Everyone at base operations, my training squadron and even the tower knew a proposal was happening that morning. It was such a special day, and I am so thankful the Air Force has given me the man of my dreams!

Special Thanks

Christina Mathews
Photographer