Cove Cav soldier pops the question
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Before a crowd gathered for the annual Five Hills Art Festival at Ogletree Gap on Sunday afternoon, a member of the 1st Cavalry Division’s Lonestar Brass Band took the show in a different direction when he asked a very important question of one of the audience members in the park’s pavilion.
Staff Sgt. Michael Blue, who lives in Copperas Cove, is the lead singer and plays trombone for the band.
Toward the end of the 12-piece band’s hour-long set at the art festival, while serenading women in the crowd, Blue dropped to his knee and proposed to his girlfriend, Alyssa Hawkins.
The two have been in a long-distance relationship since meeting in November 2017. Hawkins lives in Dallas while Blue lives with his son, Christian, in Copperas Cove.
Due to Hawkins’ job working for a college prep company, she works Saturdays and during the school week, so spending time together is difficult.
As a member of the Lonestar Brass Band and the event coordinator for the 1st Cavalry Division Band, Blue performs at numerous several events and often ends up serenading a random woman.
“It is absolutely part of the show,” Blue said. “Every time, I go, and I’ll find just a random woman and we’ll sing to her and we’ll serenade her, and the crowd loves it. The guys know what to do. (Alyssa) has seen the show numerous times, so she knows that that happens and so it’s like it’s nothing, it doesn’t faze her.”
Blue joked that when he finally did it to Hawkins, she freaked out.
Hawkins said she has always given Blue a hard time, teasing him about that part of the set where he gets down on one knee.
“The first time it happened was back in December and I said, ‘Well, at least you got down on one knee for someone this year,’” Hawkins joked.
Although Blue has lived in Copperas Cove since 2017, this year marked his first year at the Five Hills Art Festival, after being contacted by Lynette Sowell with the Five Hills Art Guild to book the Lonestar Brass Band.
Blue kept his plan a secret from his fellow band members, but he said he did ask Hawkins’ father for permission and had already began discussing wedding plans before he finally popped the question.
“We actually have been in a very long-distance relationship for a year and half now and so time is very limited,” Blue said. “I’ve actually had [the ring] in my pocket for a couple weeks now, and she just didn’t know it.”
Blue said he was just waiting for the right moment.
“It seemed right,” Blue said. “There’s been a couple of opportunities, but I hadn’t taken advantage of them, but this one it just kind of spoke to me so I just went for it.”
Hawkins said she was definitely caught off-guard.
“Clearly one of us is okay with being the center of attention, and so normally I let him take that, and so when he came over, I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s happening, what are you doing, why are you coming over here?’” Hawkins said. “This is not part of the show I’ve seen for many years now.”
Blue said that just the day before he told Hawkins that she would never know when he would propose, that she would never know when it would happen.
“She is a phenomenal woman, and I couldn’t be happier to have her in my life as well as my son’s life,” Blue said.
Hawkins plans on moving to Copperas Cove to join Blue and his son by the end of the summer, she said.
The proposal was caught on video by Five Hills Art Guild president Linda Lapierre and shared to the Five Hills Art Festival event page on Facebook Sunday evening.