We’ll always remember Paul Walker as the charming actor who seduced us with his wit and good looks in film, but one military couple will always remember Walker as a generous man.
Kyle Upham wanted to propose to his then girlfriend before he was set to be deployed for a second tour of duty in Iraq. The couple was browsing in a Santa Barbara jewelry store in 2004.
“I noticed there was someone else in there but didn’t give it much thought, and we started looking at rings and whatnot and he kept saying, ‘Go bigger’ and I kept saying, ‘No, look at the prices,’” Kristen said.
Kyle was chatting with a friendly fellow shopper, and later learned that it was the “Fast & Furious” actor, Paul Walker. “When we were talking, we exchanged names and talked about what each of us did,” Kyle said.
Kristen was observing Kyle and Paul talking. When Kyle told Paul he just got back from Iraq, she noticed Paul’s face change and said he “kind of transformed.”The couple eventually left the store without the $9,000 ring, but a saleswoman called them and told them to come back.
“One of the ladies came out holding a bag and just said, ‘Here’s your ring.’ I think both of our mouths dropped,” Kristen said.
The couple initially thought that maybe the jewelry store employees had put money together to buy the ring for them. When they asked the jewelry store workers who bought the ring, all they got was a smile and a reply that it was better not to say.
The Uphams still keep the gift receipt and are determined that Paul Walker was behind the gesture. But after seeing the jewelry store worker, their suspicious were confirmed.
Turns out, Paul called the manager and requested that the couple’s ring choice to be put on his tab before he left.
“When we hand down the ring through the generations, there will always be a story to tell,” Kyle said.
“His real life speaks volumes of his character,” Kristen said. “He really did put his money where his mouth is and did good for this world.”