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Your Views: Thieves took more than a ring; they stole a couples special moment
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The gift certificate read “Coupon good for: A special date night, including dinner for two, a private flight for two. A romantic evening spent together!”

Jonathan had been planning for months, the day was going to be special, with a picture-perfect ending. He had it all planned out. Friday afternoon, Hillary decided to cash in on the promised “special date night.” They are both single parents with abnormal work schedules: she works as an EMT, and he is an emergency room tech.

The couple had been trying to work the date night into their busy schedules for weeks. Finally the stars aligned, and with a brief detour planned for her daughter’s basketball game, the night began at the local airport. First, a private helicopter flight for two over the most scenic parts of the city. They glided over the lake, the downtown area, the rural landscapes. The views were breathtaking by Hillary’s account.

After the flight and the basketball game, her Facebook post read “Continuing the world’s awesomest date day. Just finished dinner at Red Lobster and on to a movie! We haven’t gone out like this in months!” Hillary had no idea of just how awesome it really was going to be.

Jonathan was planning to propose by night’s end. They went to see “American Sniper” at the Mall of Georgia. Jonathan had served in the Marines, in tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is still very patriotic. I am proud to know him. His patriotism is contagious, and has rubbed off on all of us.

After the movie when they got back to the car, the most perfect plan drastically changed course. Hillary recounted the events in her Facebook post later that night. “World’s best date day just turned horrible! PRAYERS PLEASE! Left the movie and found that Jonathan’s car had been broken into. My purse and his bag are both gone! My gun was in my purse and apparently a very important piece of jewelry was in his bag ... along with the title to the car he just bought, and a HUGE amount of cash. What an awful way to end such a beautiful day together! We are, however, ALIVE, HEALTHY, UNHARMED, and trusting God that this will all be resolved quickly and easily!”

Hopefully the insurance company will rectify the losses, and yes those things were valuable, but that’s not what really chaps my hide; stuff can be replaced. The fact is, someone stole the specialness of this evening, not just a ring, a gun and some money. Someone ruined a proposal, the world’s greatest symbol of love. Sure it could happen to anybody, but this time it happened to be my sister-in-law (who happens to be one of my closest friends) and her soon-to-be fiancé (who happens to be a military vet whom I respect greatly).

I have been stolen from on several occasions; I have felt that sinking helpless feeling of being violated, the anger against this broken world where crime exists, but I lost stuff. What was stolen from me was a car, an iPod, a camera; not a significant moment in my life. That’s what hurts the most.

Clint Hamlin
Gainesville

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