You're about to meet a Georgia National Guard soldier with a flair for the dramatic.
After his most recent deployment, he decided to surprise his wife with his early return. But where he did it, how he did it, and why he did it made the moment all the more special.
Lieutenant Colonel Ray Bossert had been stationed in Afghanistan since late last year. It was his 13th deployment with the Georgia National Guard; unofficially, that's considered a record. For the last four deployments, he has been married to Kristi Bossert, and he's already shown his penchant for surprising her -- like during his proposal.
Recalls Col. Bossert, "I got down on one knee in the shark tank with the scuba gear on and gave her the ring."
The colonel says Kristi and he have gotten pretty good at handling the emotions of his various deployments. But this particular deployment was special.
"We're having our first kid," Bossert said while choked up, "so there are a lot of things tied to it."
Kristi was eight months and three weeks pregnant; neither Kristi nor Ray thought he'd be home to see the birth of little Gavin Grant.
"It's something we've been wanting, and because of the deployment, I didn't think I'd have the opportunity for it," Col. Bossert said. "It's not only the birth, but the first couple of months. And when the opportunity arose that I could not only be there for her but see the birth of my boy ... I can't, I can't describe it."
With that in mind, Col. Bossert decided to make his return special, having the Guard invite Kristi to the zoo to represent him at a military appreciation event. Then, while she stood in that spot where she used to work, around the corner came her husband.
It was a celebration, followed by another one a week later: Kristi gave birth to Gavin on June 1st, with her husband home to see it.