Upon United States Army Sgt. Dustin Dykstra's return stateside after his second tour of Afghanistan, he likely expected to be the one doing all the surprising. After being away for 10 months, the 29-year-old passed through the security gates at Philadelphia International Airport and, upon seeing his girlfriend, Theresa Cristella, dropped onto one knee and asked her to marry him. Of course, she said yes! But, as it turns out, Sgt. Dykstra was set to get his own surprise ... a HUGE homecoming, arranged by Cristella.
It all began with Dykstra and his family being driven to Cristella’s home by dozens of bikers belonging to patriotic motorcycle groups Warriors’ Watch and A Hero’s Welcome, according to local site PhillyBurbs.com. Police and firefighters blocked off the road where American flag banners and signs were hung. An official from A Hero’s Welcome read a certificate of appreciation to Dykstra, who then posed for pictures with friends, family, and his escorts.
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Geeze, and Dykstra probably thought there was no way his fiancee could one-up his surprise for her. Sounds like he was definitely caught off-guard ... and over-the-moon. As he was approached by friends, family, neighbors, and townspeople hoping to shake his hand and thank him, he said:
This is phenomenal. This is amazing. You couldn’t ask for a better welcome home. It left me speechless. It’s something I never thought was going to happen.
Aww! So awesome. No wonder the Sgt. was left speechless ... Nothing like getting engaged and getting welcomed home by your country, community, and loved ones -- all in one day!
Check out this clip of Sgt. Dykstra talking about his reaction to the homecoming ...
What's the best military homecoming story you've heard/experienced?
Image via calkinsmedia/YouTube