On bended knee at the "old ball game"

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Johnathon Orrell
  • 126th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Airman 1st Class Chad Beintker, a Security Forces apprentice with the 126th Security Forces Squadron and Belleville, Ill. native, had a lifetime memory he wanted to make but was having difficulty finding the right place to make it happen.

With a pending mobilization and deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom approaching, Beintker knew he was quickly running out of time and options.

The lifetime memory Beintker was foreseeing was an out-of-the-ordinary and more-than-romantic proposal to Trissa Matarazzo, his girlfriend of nearly a year.

With Matarazzo being an O'Fallon, Ill. native and both she and Beintker being avid sports fans, Beintker knew he had some common ground to work with but didn't know if his plan would find the traction it needed to become a reality.

Enter in Anne Nowak, the 126th Air Refueling Wing's Family Program Coordinator and Operation Homefront; neither party a stranger to assisting service members in need.

Going above and beyond, Operation Homefront responded quickly with tickets, field passes, and luxury suite tickets for a July 2 St. Louis Cardinal's baseball game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo.

Wanting to ensure Beintker could share his lifetime memory, tickets and passes were also included for several members of Beintker's family.

When the big day finally arrived, Beintker couldn't have asked for a more perfect scenario. With temperatures in the mid-80s and a pleasant breeze filling Busch Stadium, Beintker stood on the field with Matarazzo and his family at his side as the Cardinals took batting practice.

Beintker wanted to wait for the perfect time but didn't want the opportunity to slip by like it had once before. He had originally planned a sports-themed proposal during game five of the St. Louis Blues National Hockey League playoffs earlier in the year. But, the ill-fated Blues didn't make it to game five and the missed opportunity was still fresh in Beintker's mind.

With determination and sincerity Beintker looked up from bended knee and while the crowd and remaining Cardinal's players looked on, he asked Matarazzo for her hand in marriage. Breathing a sigh of relief, Beintker had finally made his lifelong memory.

Upon completion of the game, which the Cardinals won 5-2, Beintker and Matarazzo enjoyed a 45-minute carriage ride through downtown St. Louis, again courtesy of Operation Homefront. The carriage ride included a dozen long-stemmed roses and was the perfect ending to the perfect day.

Oh and in case you couldn't tell, she said yes!