Amanda Jen Helmer and Bartley James Ward have announced their engagement and forthcoming marriage.

The bride-to-be is the daughter of Mary Schoenfeld of Haines and the late Mark Helmer. She graduated from Baker High School in 1997, and from the University of Idaho in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in rangeland management and ecology. She is working on her master's in aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

She lives in Klamath Falls and is an air traffic controller for the Oregon Air National Guard.

Ward is the son of Glenda and Lynn Ward of Lansing, Mich. He is a 1996 graduate of Owosso High School, and graduated in 2000 from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a bachelor's degree in science. He lives at Lawton, Okla., and is a pilot with the U.S. Air Force.

This is how the couple met: Amanda was finishing a four-month deployment in Al Udeid AB, Qatar, and was volunteering as a bartender at the British Officer's Club. Bart flew in on his way to Afghanistan. They met briefly, and then he left for Afghanistan and she left for the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan.

After four months of correspondence and phone calls, the two finally met up and andquot;have been inseparable ever since.andquot;

Amanda separated from active duty Air Force and joined the Oregon Air National Guard. Bart is completing his controlled tour working with the Army at Fort Sill, Okla. Both are captains.

The couple will be wed at 3 p.m. Aug. 4, 2007, at Running Y Resort in Klamath Falls. Pastor Larry Bunnell will officiate. There will be a reception after the ceremony. There will be another reception in the couple's honor at 2 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Brookshire Inn and Golf Club in Williamston, Mich.

They will live in Oklahoma.