Roanoke Valley Fire-EMS Academy Recruit Celebrates Graduation with an Unexpected Proposal to His Girlfriend

Busayo Ogunjimi
May 29, 2021
12:30 A.M.

A Fire-EMS Academy recruit experienced a two-fold joy as he celebrated his official induction into the Roanoke Valley Fire-EMS and a romantic engagement!


Having a reason to celebrate always results in happiness and fulfillment, but having two? The joy would be boundless. Such was the case of a Roanoke Valley Fire-EMS Academy recruit who became a fiancé on the same day he graduated from the academy.

The new Roanoke Valley firefighter/EMT, Mr. Tom Forkin, who graduated alongside 23 others from Class #28, staged the proposal right after the ceremony.

Camilla Parker Bowles' engagement ring. | Photo: Getty Images

Camilla Parker Bowles' engagement ring. | Photo: Getty Images

Forkin's girlfriend, Makena, attended the graduation ceremony to support her partner as he dived into a new chapter of his life. Little did she know it also meant a milestone in their relationship.

Roanoke Fire-EMS shared a video clip of the grand proposal on its official Twitter page, extending congratulations to the couple and the new fire recruit. It read:


"I mean come on!! How can you not say YES! Congratulations to the happy couple and welcome to the Fire family!"

WSLS also shared a video of the big moment on their website. The clip showed Forkin standing beside his partner, Makena, as if posing for a photo before suddenly going down on one knee.

The stunned girlfriend excitedly accepted his proposal and could barely hide her happiness as he slipped the band into her finger. The twosome embraced afterward, attracting cheers from the crowd.


Many blasted the man for being a "manchild" by hijacking his partner's special milestone.

The video also showed as the other recruits and Fire-EMS officials joined the couple in their celebration, exchanging warm embraces.

Speaking to the press, Chief Dave Hoback of the Roanoke Fire Department described the class as unique because they encountered several hurdles due to the pandemic.


He also pointed out that welcoming recruits into the department always represented a remarkable moment in Roanoke Valley. Capping the wonderful celebration with a proposal made it even more memorable.

Engagement ring. | Photo: Pexels

Engagement ring. | Photo: Pexels

This isn't the first time a grand proposal after a graduation ceremony would romantically steal the spotlight. In 2019, a clip of a man who popped the big question to his longtime girlfriend seconds after receiving her diploma went viral on social media.

While the bride-to-be found the gesture romantic, many blasted the man for being a "manchild" by hijacking his partner's special milestone with a proposal.

Engagement ring. | Photo: Pexels

Engagement ring. | Photo: Pexels

Again in 2011, a high school senior, Jason Pitt, made headlines after staging an elaborate prom proposal to his girlfriend, Lianna Cohen, by serenading her in class.

He enlisted the help of a group of Capella singers as he crooned the lyrics of an original song composed specially for her while playing the guitar. Who could say no to that?

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