Brian White was excited about asking Rebecca Raymond to marry him. He had the diamond he wanted to slip onto her finger.
“He got that ring custom made,” said White’s friend and fellow soldier Tyler Eisenhower. “It was a big deal. He was showing everybody for weeks. He was trying to decide when to (propose).”
The moment came on Saturday, July 29, at the Big Bear Airport. The couple had flown in for the afternoon, which reportedly included lunch at the Barnstorm Restaurant. A Facebook photo shows White on his knee near the Cessna 172N he’d rented for the day. Another shows a smiling Raymond showing off the ring on her hand.
Eisenhower said it was a fitting moment after a two-year courtship.
“It was almost like a Disney story,” he said of their relationship. “They were quite the couple.”
A short time later, they climbed back in the rented Cessna 172N single-engine plane and took off for Apple Valley.
But minutes after takeoff, the plane went down on a tree-covered hillside a half-mile south of the airport. No one saw the crash and when a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s’ search and rescue team located the wreckage the next morning, the newly engaged couple were both dead.
White, 30, was a chief warrant officer 2, stationed at Fort Irwin. Raymond, 28, was a deputy sheriff, working out of Barstow. The couple met at a nightclub near White’s Helendale home, shortly after he arrived at the desert Army training center two years ago.
Sheriff spokeswoman Jodi Miller said Raymond’s colleagues were unable to comment on Monday about her death. She had been at the Barstow station for just a month and had joined…
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