A local Marine planned two big surprises for the love of his life for the holiday season.
Shelby native Cody Kale returned home from Marine Corps boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina, with big plans. For three months he had been away from his high school sweetheart, Taylor Auton.
Before Kale left, he knew he wanted to propose to Auton, who he began dating during their time at Crest High School. Kale spent his off time at boot camp writing letters home to move those plans forward.
“It was hard talking through letters to my mom and her mom, but we got it done,” he said.
The Marine returned to Shelby for a 10-day leave at the start of December upon completing boot camp. He finished the planning and purchased an engagement ring while he was home.
Kale and Auton got dressed to the nines and traveled to Ruth Chris in Charlotte for an evening out on Dec. 8. The couple then headed back to Shelby, where Kale planned to propose in front of the Christmas tree on the court square.
Although he hoped for snow to set the scene, Kale got freezing rain, which caused a change in plans. He moved the proposal indoors to Pleasant City Wood Fired Grille, but still got the answer he longed to hear.
“It didn’t go quiet as planned, but it still went good,” he said.
Kale then flew out to California to begin training at Camp Pendleton, where he got the news that he would get another 10-day leave that would allow him to fly back home for Christmas and New Year’s Day.
The Marine decided to plan another surprise for Auton, only telling his parents who in turn told her parents. Upon his arrival, Kale hid out at Auton’s grandmother’s house for the big surprise before a Christmas dinner.
“She was still sending me messages talking about how sad she was that I wasn’t going to be home for Christmas that morning, and then I surprised her,” Kale said.
Since Kale had just been home for a leave earlier that month, the last thing Auton expected to see was her fiancé.
“I didn’t think it was real when I saw him walk in,” she said.
Kale will fly across the country to report back to Camp Pendleton at start of January to complete Marine and job training.
The couple has yet to figure out what their wedding plans will be, but both are glad to have been reunited for the holidays.
Casey White can be reached at 704-669-3339 or [email protected].
© 2017 The Star (Shelby, N.C.)
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