It’s always so heartwarming to witness families being reunited. It hits so close to home, because I’ve been there too. It’s hard, being a single parent for 6, 9, 12+ months. It’s hard, missing your spouse every single one of those days. It’s hard not counting down as soon as he leaves. It’s hard. All of it. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it for those first precious moments. From the second you hear the plane land…to the agonizing wait for them to file off the plane. Then, they finally open those doors & they all march in. But they all look the same – all wearing the same outfit, carrying the same backpack, marching in the same boots, hidden beneath the same hats. Will you recognize him when you see him? What if you can’t find him immediately? What if you get lost in the swarm of people the second they say “FALL OUT!” and can’t get to him? It hurts. It hurts having to wait. But of course, you recognize his face the second they all stop marching. So that 30 second speech by the commander seems to take an eternity. You’re not even listening, really. Because all you want to do is run for him. All you want is that first kiss, that first embrace. And he wants it just the same. You can see it in the smile on his face as he patiently waits, just like you. Then they’re released. It’s a madhouse. Everyone’s running and yelling and hugging and blocking your way. Just run, I told her. Just run, and I’ll keep up. And she did. She ran right for him and right in to those arms that she’d been missing for 12 months. He. Is. Home. And there’s nothing better than that. All the stress, all the worry, all the lonely nights…they’re gone now. Because he’s home.
Thank you so much for your service, Sgt Paul. Welcome Home!