Then all of a sudden the waiter lifted the silver cover and I saw the ring in a box with white rose petals on the plate.” Patridge says, “Then Corey dropped to his knee and said, ‘We have been together for many years now and I love you more than anything.
I want to spend the rest of my life with you – will you marry me?
Hale and fresh-faced, he stood near the altar with his wife, Linda, 28, and joined the choir in a heartfelt rendition of the hymn “Victory in Jesus.” After the ceremony—as men shook his hand, children clung to his sleeves and grandmothers kissed his cheeks—Russell’s dark memories were already fading.
“I don’t want to forget the whole experience because of all the positive things that have come from it,” he says, “and how much it’s made Linda and me grow.” Russell’s ordeal began on the afternoon of Feb.
Russell spent five days at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, where he received a clean bill of health.
Given 30 days to recuperate before returning to duty, he is reveling in life’s simple pleasures—savoring Linda’s home-cooked Brunswick stew, walking their mutt, Fergie, and tabby cat.
After his group commander and a chaplain from the U. Linda stopped going to her job as a customer-service representative for a local tool manufacturer.
After 24 hours the beatings stopped, and Russell was transferred to a dank 10-foot by 12-foot cell in a Baghdad prison, where four other Americans and three Britons were also held captive.star is engaged to longtime boyfriend (and professional BMX dirt bike rider) Corey Bohan, PEOPLE can exclusively confirm. Patridge, 30, tells PEOPLE that Bohan asked her father about the proposal three weeks ago before making reservations on Friday night at the Summit House in Orange County, California, where her family also happened to have reservations for later that night. “When dessert time came he ordered cheesecake and the waiter brought it out on a platter with a beautiful silver cover,” she continued.“When Corey found out he told my brother what his plan was and they sat in the dining area so I wouldn’t see them,” Patridge says. “I noticed all the waitresses gathering with phones and thought, What is going on!Five days later, after Russell was shaved and permitted to wash his flight uniform and exercise for the first time, he and the other POWs were put on a bus, where a woman informed them they were in the hands of the International Red Cross.But it wasn’t until the next morning, when they boarded a plane to Bahrain, that the POWs dared to believe they were truly free.