1. Lance Buchanan and Lt. Kyle Bandermann met in the fall of 2012. Last week, the lieutenant decided to pop the question.
The couple met as Kyle was finishing up his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
3. Kyle gave two specific reasons for wearing his Naval whites during the proposal:
First, anyone who knows my work knows that I love my fellow service members, the camaraderie of the military community, and specifically the culture, pride, and professionalism of the U.S. Navy. It has become a part of my identity and I am grateful to call the Navy home. I am myself, both in uniform and civilian clothes. However, I realize that being a Naval Officer calls me to something much bigger than myself, and provides me a sense of pride and awareness of my actions while wearing my Nation’s colors.
Secondly, when we as service members ask our partner to become our spouse, we’re also asking them to commit to being a part of the military family. Lance has sacrificed a great deal for me and the Navy. He moved from his comfort zone and family in rural Western North Carolina to the metropolitan D.C. area. He will sacrifice even more for his country in November as we move halfway around the world to the Island of Guam for three years. It is only right that I officially ask him to join the Navy family as we begin to form our own. Our military spouses are as much an integral part of the military structure as we service members are.
4. BuzzFeed reached out to the newly engaged couple for their (super-romantic and adorable) side of story.
5. Lance told BuzzFeed, “Despite half a million views being my own, I’m astounded by the amount of attention the photo has received.”
As I volunteer as Communications Intern for the American Military Partner Association (AMPA, an organization serving modern military families, especially the LGBT community), the photo was shared on our wall as a congratulations from my boss. We had no idea the photo would mean so much (for better or for worse) to so many people.
8. Friends and family were told to arrive ahead of time. There was even a hashtag organized so everyone could share their perspective on the big moment.
9. That morning, Kyle made sure to hide Lance’s phone so he wouldn’t see any of the social media posts and figure out what was actually going on.
11. A small Bluetooth speaker was placed in the camera bag that would play their song “A Thousand Years,” as they approached the group of family and friends.
12. “I was so shocked, the only thing I could keep saying was, ‘Aww. You little snake!’ Over and over,” said Lance.
13. The couple is set to be stationed in Guam this November, as Kyle begins work as a staff psychologist at the Naval Hospital of Guam.
14. “There are no words for how much I love Kyle,” said Lance. And on the few negative comments they received? “We are not bothered by the hateful words, because we do not focus on negativity.”
15. Read more about the special day on the couple’s personal blog.
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