First, turn down your volume slightly. Next, check out this video for a last bit of pre-Christmas cheer:
That’s Hospitalman Apprentice Robert Everhart, surprising his girlfriend, Michelle Gungon, with a marriage proposal at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego on Monday.
Robert, attending “C” school in San Antonio, came home a day early.
“I was expecting to see him today at 5,” Michelle said in a Christmas Eve interview. “I had this whole thing planned out.”
She said yes anyway, to the applause (and loud cheers/shouts/huzzahs/etc.) of her co-workers.
Robert, 30, comes from a Navy family — his father retired as a lieutenant commander; his brother Eric serves on the amphibious assault ship Peleliu; another brother recently left service.
It’s a late start for Robert’s Navy career, but it’s not for lack of trying: About seven years ago, he tried to enlist but was rejected after failing the hearing test. He failed again before a specialist — Dr. John Taylor, affiliated with the Sharp Community Medical Group, coincidentally — diagnosed him with collapsing conchal cartilage.
In other words, he can hear fine so long as there’s no pressure on his ear canal — say, from an earbud used during a hearing test.
A waiver, a second opinion confirming the diagnosis and a successful, no-earbud hearing test later, and Robert’s career was on track. He said he hopes to practice pathology, eventually moving into medical research.
But first, holidays with his new fiancee and the family. They’ve been together less than three years, Michelle said, and much of that has given her a crash course on being a Navy spouse, with her future husband serving far from home.
“It’s never been easy, him being away,” she said. “His mom is very supportive, my family is very supportive … the support really helps.”