Credits: HANDOUT PHOTO
OTTAWA -- She said yes!
Cpl. Carl Manning proposed to Jessica Bannerman in the April 17 edition of the Ottawa Sun. It was a plan hatched months ago before Manning was deployed to Afghanistan.
"I didn't expect this at all," said Bannerman, who lives in Constance Bay. "I'm not one for being in the spotlight, but my cheekbones hurt I've been smiling so much."
With the help of a friend, Manning made sure flowers and copies of the newspaper were spread across Bannerman's desk before she got to work.
"My sister called me first thing this morning and told me I was in the paper," Bannerman said. "I saw Carl's picture right on the front page. I was shocked, but of course it's a yes."
As soon as Bannerman saw the story, she hopped online and tried contacting Manning.
"It was a panic. I kept on messaging him on Facebook until I finally got a hold of him and we Skyped. I'm so happy, I'm on cloud nine," she said.
Manning is currently deployed in Afghanistan. The couple has been dating for over a year.
"I miss her terribly and I have known since the day we met that I was going to marry her," Manning said.
"I want to see him, I want him back now," Bannerman said.
April 17 also has an underlying importance for Bannerman and her family.
"It's my parents' anniversary," Bannerman said.
"My dad is ex-military and he's over the moon. He's so proud."
Bannerman's two sons were also ecstatic.
"They are so excited to see Carl on the front page," Bannerman said. "Then they saw that I was in it, too, and they were so happy. They just love him. They write letters and draw pictures to include in the care packages," she said. "I have never met a man who has made me feel this way. I knew I was going to say yes right away."
Manning is equally certain about their happy future.
"The moment I first saw her, I immediately knew she was the one," Manning said.
"I've always believed that we have a soulmate somewhere and it is only a matter of time before the roads crossed. This is so great, it's a million times better than I would have imagined."