Last Saturday, RAF Corporal Steve Roberts, who is based at RAF Halton, got down on one knee at the finish line of the Bristol Half Marathon and proposed to his girlfriend Jenny Sparrow. In this guest blog Steve reveals all…
Jenny and I first met at RAF Benson back in 2015 when we were both serving as RAF Suppliers and have been dating ever since. The last three or so years have been some of the best. When I first met Jenny, I knew she was 'the one' but we’ve had our challenges. Since we first started dating we have both been deployed overseas at different times and that's hard on any couple.
Choosing Bristol as the perfect proposal setting was an obvious choice for me as that's where Jenny comes from and the city holds a special place in her heart. But I have to admit, Jenny didn't have much say in the matter when it came to signing up for the race.
I originally signed up back in March and without giving it much thought signed Jenny up for it at the same time. As you can imagine, I wasn't the most popular boyfriend.
But seeing Jenny's reaction at the finish line was all worth it. When I asked the question it's safe to say she was shocked. She burst into tears straight away…I hope they were happy tears! We both came over the finish line together, hand in hand and I pulled out the ring I'd been carrying in my short pocket the entire race.
In total there was 86 runners that all decided to support the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and we raised more than £11,000 for the RAF's leading welfare charity.
It's a cause that's very close to my heart and I've been fundraising for them for a number of years now. I wanted to join the RAF because of my father's service. When he passed away suddenly the Fund stepped in to provide support to my family and continued to do so throughout my childhood. They really were a lifeline to us.
I know my Mum felt really alone at the time and the Fund were there for her, providing practical and emotional support when she needed it the most.
The Fund stepped in and provided suitable housing for us, enabling us to remain close to the rest of our family. My brother, Danny, and I were also supported with financial assistance towards our education.
Now we have a wedding to plan and I can't wait to make Jenny my wife in 2020.