Local soldier meets fiancée for first time at airport

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Updated: 3/21 9:27 pm

COLONIE, N.Y. – A local soldier returned to the Capital Region Thursday night to meet his fiancée face-to-face.

Army Specialist Joe Gardner was in Korea for 21 months. He met his fiancée Lindsey Clagg on the dating website match.com. They met for the first time at Albany International Airport Thursday.

“My heart stopped for a minute,” Clagg explained. “I didn’t know. I was like, ‘Oh, my God. There he is,’ and then took off running.”

Gardner said he was just as excited to see Clagg.

“I was so excited to get off the plane and meet her in person for the first time,” he said.

Clagg and Gardner continued their relationship through online conversations on Skype where Gardner also proposed. They hugged and kissed as they met.

“It’s great because I’ve spent a year just staring at a computer screen, you know, with our Skype conversations and everything, so now to have him home – words just can’t explain how happy I am,” Clagg said.

Gardner met Clagg’s parents only seconds after meeting her. Everyone said the happy ending to their love story was a long time coming.

“I can’t get over that he’s here,” Clagg said. “We’ve waited so long, and we’ve had many disappointments in the past where he was supposed to come home and it didn’t happen. So now that he’s finally here, and I’ve got him, he’s not going anywhere.”

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