CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An airman from northern Michigan just graduated technical school, and his homecoming turned into much more than expected.
Jacob Raisanen surprised his girlfriend, Kayla Powell, with a wedding proposal at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Wednesday night. His family contacted 24 Hour News 8 without either one of them knowing.
The excitement continued building during the minutes leading up to his arrival.
In July, Raisanen went to basic training in Texas. He graduated from technical training school at an air force base in Witchita Falls this week. Then he returned to home to Michigan with his next big task.
His unsuspecting girlfriend told 24 Hour News 8 how excited she was for his arrival after months away, but she had no idea of the early Christmas gift she would soon receive.
Just before midnight, Raisanen walked through the arrival gate. Powell raced to her boyfriend and jumped to hug him.
His mother, Melissa Lake, slipped Raisanen the engagement ring amidst the excitement.
“Leading up to today, I was extremely nervous because I’ve wanted to ask her since four or five months ago,” he told 24 Hour News 8 after the proposal. “[I was] just thinking of when to do it and how.”
Lake said she was excited to welcome her son home and said she couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments.
Powell went with Raisanen’s family to visit him in the summer. He had earned an extra day off base, but that never happened due to Hurricane Harvey.
“The lines for gas [and] running out of water, that was all new for us,” said Lake.
However, that’s behind them and Lake said she is excited for her son’s future.
“He is the backbone to our family,” she told 24 Hour News 8.
Raisanen’s entourage drove to the airport from Kinsley in northern Michigan for the surprise. He said that support has motivated him for the last few months.
“It was monumental because there have been times where it was really tough for me, and knowing that I was doing it for them just made it ten times easier,” the airman said.
He will soon head to Arizona for at least two more years of training.