Love is blind.
But rarely is it this patriotic.
Men and women of all branches of the military gathered at the ‘Armed Forces Ball’ in Washington D.C. on Friday to celebrate the Inauguration of Donald Trump. The President walked onstage to applause and cheers, gave a short speech, danced a song with his wife while accompanied by his children, waved, and said goodbye.SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
While the First Family blew kisses from the stage, Marine and Purple Heart recipient Shane Kruchten was in the audience asking his girlfriend Reena Norville to marry him. With tears in her eyes, Reena said yes while the President slow-danced just feet away.Shane and Reena, immediately after their proposal.
“If I’m gonna propose, I’m gonna do it in front of the President of the United States while I’m standing here with my brothers and sisters of the Armed Forces,” Kruchcen says. The Purple Heart winner tells IJR that a Trump Inauguration was the perfect time to get engaged.
Why not? He’s a Republican. I’m a Republican. I’m a military guy. I support his values. The man speaks his word. Why not speak my word tonight? My fellow Officers split the seas and allowed me to speak my word to the woman I love. Make America Great Again? Why not Make My Life Great Again?
Kruchcen has been through hardships. He has been deployed to Iraq twice, both times retuning with life-threatening injuries. “Most people can’t say they spent their 18th, 20th, and 21st birthdays all in a hospital recovering from war wounds,” he says as his new fiancé takes his hand. The Marine tells IJR that he struggled with alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide attempts after leaving the Service, but Reena gives him purpose.
Image Credit: Facebook/ Shane Kruchcen
I’ve had my trials and tribulations. She has been the best part of my life. Every day of my life she makes better. She accepts me and my wounds and all. She makes me a whole person.
Why did Reena say yes?
“What girl doesn’t like a guy in uniform?” she asks, stating she is ready for the responsibility that comes with being a part of a military family. “He’s worth it. He’s kind of a badass. He’s mine,” she says, beaming.Reena showing IJR the spot she was proposed to by Shane.
Kruchcen is actually a badass. Currently, he fights Mixed Martial Arts professionally. While receiving Purple Hearts and entering the Octagon takes bravery, Kruchcen does not want to be called a hero.
“I’m not a hero by any means,” he says. “I did my duty and served my country. I have 19 guys tattooed down my back. Those men gave their lives for all of us. They are the heroes. Everything I do I do for them.”Image Credit: Facebook/ Shane Kruchcen
Whether you would ever get engaged at a Trump speech or not, I think we can all agree that it’s beautiful to find someone who accepts us, scars and all.
Congratulations, Shane and Reena.