The morning was going to start EARLY. I set like 5 alarms on my phone so I wouldn't miss it and over sleep. My hair was already done, since Barbie my co-worker did it the day before at work. It was in a beautiful side swiped french braid with a twist across the top. I made sure every last detail of my house cleaning / getting ready preparations where done the night before. I wanted to go to bed stress, care free and not have to rush around in the morning to do last minute things. I seriously contemplated even going to sleep the night before since 1) I had to be up so early and 2) I didn't wanna mess her hair. But around 10pm I had everything done and was just randomly surfing the web. I knew at that point that if I didn't go to bed I'd be exhausted the next day, not to mention it would make time go by even slower. So off to bed I went.
I fell asleep, and woke up. It was only 12am. Back to sleep I went, waking up checking my phone and the flight schedule online and it was only 1:45am. Back to sleep, waking up again shortly later and it was only 2:30. Aaaahhhhh time was creeping, I knew it would but seriously. Finally 2:45am rolled around and my alarm went off. I laid there scrolling through FB and checking the flight schedule again. No changes, yay!!! I slowly got up, made the bed, had a little something to eat, surfed the web a bit before finally going up stairs to get ready. 3:45 dress on, make-up done, made a breakfast banana wrap and headed out the door. I was meeting Brittany my director / boss at 4am right down the street from my house so she could follow me on post. She so kindly offered / agreed to take pictures for us. She has an amazing talent / eye for photography which she does on the side.
We arrived on post at the Hanger right around 4:30am, it's recommended you get there 2 hours early. I didn't wanna take any chances so 2 hrs early we where. Thankfully since their arrival was so early and it was a smaller group (150-ish) we where able to park there at the Hanger vs. at their Company area and having to be bused over.
Walking in there wasn't to many people there yet, a good amount but not over whelming. We found great seats in the bleachers, floor level front and center for our up coming 2 hour wait. I have to say it went by pretty quickly. We went out to the air field a time of two, to check it out and get some air. Finally at 5:50am we decided we'd go wait outside till the plane came in. This way we would be able to secure a spot in the front. Not to mention it was so much nicer outside temperature wise then it was inside.
(quick back story, at Ft. C. Homecomings you are able to see the plane come in and land right there at the airfield and watch the Soldiers walk off the plane into formation to enter the hanger.)
Their flight was suppose to come in at 6:35am, well 6:35 came and went....6:50, 6:55, 7:00 came and went. Finally around 7:05 their flight was spotted coming in and the excitement grew from the crowd. It landed just behind another hanger where we couldn't see it and a few moments after it came pulling through following behind a truck. That's when it finally really hit me hard and it really clicked that "HEY MY HUSBAND IS ON THAT PLANE" and I'm going to have my arms around him in the next few minutes. It did a little zig zag coming closer and closer before finally stopping, the door opening as the Color Guard approached the plane. That's when Soldiers started coming off and the crowd went crazy. I was eye balling each one of them looking for mine, one after another they walked by and no husband. After a while you saw the last of the line come off the plane. They where still a little way's out (walking distance) so I couldn't see the last set of them clearly and just as my heart started to race with worry, THERE HE WAS!!!!! A sign of relief settled in me as I was able to breath again. Brittany snapped a couple pictures and then we booked it back inside to get our seats before the ceremony started. (They assured us they would allow everyone time to get in and seated before starting the ceremony.)
The hanger doors opened and the crowd went crazy as the Soldiers marched in. My eyes searching like crazy to find him again. Back left side I pointed out to Brittany, I couldn't take my eyes off him the whole time. The ceremony was short, brief and to the point before they where released. He was looking the opposite direction as I came running up behind him. Wrapping my arms around him and seeing his face was the best!!! It was over, finally he was home and out of harms way. In that moment every thing and everyone slipped away. It was as if we where the only ones there in the hanger. Soaking it all up!!!! We had about 15-20 minutes together lots of hugs, kisses, laughs and small talk was exchanged.
After that short time had passed the guys had to form back up in formation to go check in their weapons, get their bags and have a short safety brief before being released for the day. Brittany stuck around to take some more pictures afterwards of just the two of us outside the Hanger. She was / is seriously such a doll and I am so grateful she agreed to come be apart of this moment in our life. Their briefing seemed to take forever, really it actually did take forever. Thankfully he knew I wanted to get a few more pictures before we left and he was totally ok with it that once he was released he came out and we where able to get right to it. After snapping a few pictures, he grabbed his bag and we where on our way to the car. He was all mine for the rest of the day. (unlike in Hawaii, he had to report to work the next day and the following 7-10 days straight for re-intergration SRP) A quick stop at the company area so he could say hello to a couple of the guys he works with that came home 4 months earlier then him.
Finally we where headed home, life was back to normal again. Well with a few changes from each of us but normal. We completed our 3rd deployment, in just shy of 8 years of marriage. We've been through more than most normal civilian couples will ever go through in a life time. Each time its only made us stronger and brought us closer together as a couple.
I'll leave you with this picture I posted on FB and Instagram announcing to everyone that he was home. We didn't tell anyone ahead of time, there was literally 4 people that knew when he was coming home. Keeping it a surprise and my lips sealed made it that much more special for me and was totally worth it. Once I have all the pictures back from Brittany I will be sure to flood this here Blog, FB and Instagram. So be on the look out for those!!!!
Blog Post Coming Soon: Match Making Husband.