GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — As families rejoiced with the return of the USS Indiana in Groton after six months of deployment on Wednesday, one U.S. Navy Sailor returned with a special gift: a proposal to his girlfriend.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Frable proposed to Nevada Currier on the pier during the ship’s homecoming to Naval Submarine Base New London. The couple has been together for about three years, and during Frable’s early part of his tour assigned to the Groton, Conn.-based USS Indiana, he drove nearly five hours each way to visit Currier while she attended school in Pennsylvania, according to the Submarine Readiness Squadron.
The SRS said Currier accepted the proposal, overcome with emotions, and the crowd erupted in applause.
“I thought I was going to get a kiss and I got so much more,” Currier said in a statement.
Frable told the SRS that he bought the engagement ring before the USS Indiana deployed, and he had it with him while on the submarine. He said he looked at it whenever he felt lonely during the deployment, noting, “I was trying to prepare for six months and I was still shaking worse than (her).”
“That was truly an unforgettable surprise,” said Capt. Thomas P. O’Donnell, commander of Submarine Squadron 12, which Indiana operates under. “It’s hard to make a homecoming even more heartwarming, but an engagement ring on the pier after a six-month deployment? That’s a rare and wonderful sight.”
During the ship’s deployment, which is Indiana’s second full deployment since its 2018 commissioning, the SSN 789 steamed nearly 40,000 nautical miles. It made port calls in Scotland, Norway, and Spain.
Capt. O’Donnell said that the deployment was successful and the crew “trained long and hard to take Indiana to sea and project American military strength to the world.”
“We ask a lot of these sailors on deployment, and we ask even more of their loved ones, who hold down jobs, manage households, and raise children in their absence,” Capt. O’Donnell said in a statement. “Today we can rejoice as those hardworking families have their beloved Sailors back in their arms once again.”