Usually homecoming involves a homecoming brief for all of the spouses going over when they’re getting back, what to expect as far as PTSD, strange habits like preferring to sleep on the hard floor over the soft mattress, not controlling their ‘boy’ tendencies since they’ve been around ‘boys’ for so long (i.e. not using their manners when it comes to body functions…ahem), and a fear of crowds. They also talk about what NOT to wear. Don’t dress like a stripper, save that for home. Make sure your skirt is long enough so that when you go to hug him, it doesn’t ride up and show the world what’s going on underneath. No trench coats: we all know what’s under there…or not. Things like that. Well, this was my fourth homecoming and he was coming home without the rest of his unit which is staying until January so I didn’t attend a briefing. I wasn’t part of a huge crowd of wives and kids dressed in their best awaiting the big white bus. I actually got elite treatment and was able to drive up to March to pick my husband up. The rest of the guys on his plane were actually headed to a different base and he just happened to hitch a ride on their flight. The kids and I got to watch Bill actually depart the plane and walk down to the tarmac. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take pictures of that. I was clearly warned that if I was caught taking photos (since it’s a government airstrip or something like that) they would confiscate my camera. Didn’t they know I needed to scrapbook this momentous occasion? We were so excited to see him, and amazingly, I could pick him out of the sea of desert cammie tan boys walking down the steps of the plane. He motioned that he needed to go through processing on the other side and as I got ready to walk over there, I noticed Trey was lagging behind. He was crying! “What’s the matter, Trey? Why are you crying?”
“I’m just so happy daddy’s home!”
Wow, my seven year old is crying tears of joy!
It took a while before he could actually depart the iron bars and Marines holding everyone back from where a handful of us were waiting.
It’s become tradition that I bring Bill and ice cold beer when he returns home. Spending seven months in an Islamic country means no alcohol so a cold beer is heaven to most guys returning.
After we said our hellos and thank yous and shook a few hands of other Marines,
Once we got home, Bill found his welcome home sign that I’d worked on for about a week. It’s tradition to have a sign waiting for him. This one was definitely my biggest work of art.
Now, we’re just enjoying being a family again. I’m loving that I have my partner back, my help mate, my best friend. The kids love having two parents and a mom who is a lot less stressed out. Thank God he made it home safely and we’re back together, like peas and carrots.