Thursday was already a special day for Maddison Olinger. She was invited by the Greensboro Grasshoppers to be a "honorary manager" for the day and arrived at the minor league baseball game in North Carolina ready to take on her new role. But when she got on the field, something surprising happened.
Olinger was tasked with distributing the lineup card to the umpire at home plate before the first pitch, CBS affiliate WFMY-TV reports. The North Carolina team chooses an honorary manager to do this before each game. Olinger walked onto the field and stopped at the pitcher's mound. Before she could do anything else, a special announcement was made over the loudspeakers: "Please welcome from a 10-month deployment in Syria, Maddison's boyfriend, Army Specialist Camryn Henley."
Henley crossed the field to meet her wearing his army fatigues. His homecoming was a shock to Olinger, but what he did next was even more surprising: He dropped to one knee and popped the question.
The crowd cheered as Olinger placed the engagement ring on Olinger's finger. She said yes. Now, she can't stop looking at the rock she got on the baseball diamond.
"I was able to get with [my] mom and she was able to get the backstage stuff set up," Henley said of planning the grand surprise. They had to get creative to get Olinger on the field, so Henley's mom arranged for her to be the honorary manager that day.
Olinger said she was shocked by the homecoming and engagement. "I definitely didn't think he was going to be home today, like I kind of suspected it for tomorrow."
Friends and family members were at the baseball stadium to show their support. They brought homemade signs with messages for the newly engaged couple. "Happy engagement and may you cherish each other forever," one sign read.
It was a great day for a baseball game, a homecoming and an engagement. Olinger is the catch Henley couldn't let get away, the soldier says.