Wounded War Vet Proposes to Girlfriend in Front of Bush 41 and 43, Reveals It Was Their Idea
Proposing is nerve-racking enough without two former presidents looking on.
But that's exactly what happened to Army Specialist Tyler Jeffries, who popped the question to his girlfriend in front of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush at their family home in Kennebunkport, Maine on Monday.
And speaking to INSIDE EDITION, Jeffries revealed that George W. Bush was the one who encouraged him to propose.
In a video, the 26-year-old veteran, who lost his legs when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan in 2012, was seen getting down on his prosthetic knee with the help of his friends.
His girlfriend, Lauren Lilly, shouted 'Yes!' without hesitation.
Posted by Supporting Tyler Jeffries on Monday, 10 August 2015
Jeffries told INSIDE EDITION that he had planned to propose to Lilly, 24, at some point that evening so had the ring in his pocket. She had not joined him at the event at the Bush family home.
"I had none of it planned," he said. "I knew I was going to propose that day but I didn't know how I was going to do it."
But when he told the former presidents, who were joined by former First Lady Barbara Bush, they encouraged him to bring her to the house.
"Bush  had a look on his face, 'You need to get her here,'" Jeffries recalled.
And when she arrived, the former president told her, "'You're the girl we've been waiting on,'" Jeffries said.
Rather than feeling nervous, the veteran was excited. "This is going to be awesome," he remembered thinking. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Lilly told INSIDE EDITION that she had no idea her boyfriend was going to propose and when she saw him get down on his knee, she focused on keeping her composure.
"Oh Lord!" she thought. "What am I going to do?"
But without hesitation, she said yes. The former first family passed on their congratulations - and told them to be sure they're on the guest list.
"They said they'd better get an invitation," Jeffries said. "We will definitely send them one."
Afterwards, George H.W. Bush tweeted his congratulations.
Congratulating Tyler Jeffries and Lauren Lilly on their engagement, and wishing them a lifetime of joy together. pic.twitter.com/W7hjX3dgWL— George Bush (@GeorgeHWBush) August 10, 2015
The couple has only been dating for three months, but Jeffries said as soon as he saw Lilly, he knew she was the girl for him.
"As soon as she walked up my driveway, I knew," he told INSIDE EDITION.
The couple, who live near Charlotte, North Carolina, said they hope to get married in the next eight months - and that they'll be putting the Bushes' invitations in the mail.
Jeffries is one of ten veterans featured in the book Unbreakable Bonds: The Mighty Moms and Wounded Warriors of Walter Reed. On Monday, the veterans featured in the book had been invited to the Bush home, as well as their mothers and the book's authors, Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris.
The book looks at how mothers helped their wounded warrior sons. During Jeffries' recovery, his mother, Pam Carrigan Britt, moved into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to care for him.
"The Bushes are great people," Jeffries added. "They have nothing but love for the military."
Watch Below: Woman Thinks She's Shooting a Music Video When Her Boyfriend Proposes