Marine Returns, Brings Diamond Ring

It reads like a fairy tale, the kind of story that would have done Walt Disney proud.

Once upon a time, a hero returned from foreign lands for the hand of his princess.

Marine Corporal Daniel Miller came home safe from Iraq, bringing with him a diamond ring and a new proposal for his fiance, Alicia.

She said yes.

"When I have him there it really hits me how much I had taken him for granted," Alicia says. "Like today, I got twelve letters in the mail that he sent off at the last minute, and it wasn't a big deal to me because I have him here."

Mail was the only connection the couple had for six long months. Daniel originally proposed to Alicia before leaving for Iraq. While he fought, she wore his dog tags, and worried.

"The Marine Corps trains you not to be afraid," Daniel says, "but there's no training for family back home, so you know they had a hard time."

Now, Daniel has come home and the sweethearts are finally back together. Alicia says she doesn't think it's a fairy tale, even if it seems romantic to some of her friends.

"I had people joke around with me at work saying, 'I wish I had that kind of fairy tale.'"

"Fairy tale?" she laughs. "I'm over here dying not knowing if he's okay. There's no fairy tale to it."

"it's just me and him, like it was before."

Daniel is back in the country, but he's not all the way home yet. Next week, he'll report to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, where he'll serve eight months of light duty while rehabbing his injured hand. After that, he plans to return to Mineola, and Alicia, and go to college.

And hopefully live happily ever after.

Reid Kerr ( reporting.