JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - An Army officer showed up at St. Martin North Elementary Friday, but he didn't do so in uniform - he enlisted the help of a very, colorful dragon.
"That thing's huge," Army Major Frederick Williams commented as he looked at the dragon suit.
It was a covert mission: Operation Red Dragon. Williams had just flown in from Texas and was getting ready to propose to his love, first grade teacher Shyra Galloway.
"One of her best friends told me they were having a dragon dance at school and I asked, 'Hey, can you get me in that dragon suit?'" said Williams.
After getting some tips from the pros, and camouflaging his uniform with shiny, red satin pants, it was go time.
"I feel good, I'm ready. I'm pumped," said Williams.
As the entire school gathered to watch what everyone thought was a traditional dance to ring in the Asian New Year, the dragon crouched closer to his unsuspecting target. Galloway broke into tears as Williams got down on one knee and popped the question: "Will you marry me?"
Galloway let out a big laugh, and declaration of love as Williams put a diamond ring on her finger.
It has been a romantic milestone for the couple, who met in August 2015 when Williams saw Galloway's picture on a friend's Instagram page.
"I normally don't like surprises, but this is the best surprise ever," said Galloway. "He's truly my soul mate and best friend."
The couple even had the blessing of Galloway's nine-year-old daughter, Kyla.
"I can't wait for them to get married, I'm so excited," Kyla said.
Now, the officer and his Valentine can begin planning their happily ever after.
"I never imagined he'd come here and do it, but what better place than in front of all the kids, all the people I work with, my best friends. So it was truly perfect," said Galloway.
Williams added, "It was everything I wanted it to be, so I'm glad she's happy. She's the best girl that any guy could ask for, seriously. I couldn't let this one get away. So, I'm glad she said yes."
The couple plans to tie the knot in June.