The Old Man's deployment to Iraq has finally came to a close... These were some of the proudest, saddest, and happiest moments of my life.
The welcome home festivities were wonderful. On homecoming day, the MCCS set up tents with food, games, and a dj. The families and wives brought their coolers of beer and waited for hours just in case the buses came early. The anticipation while waiting in the parking lot for his bus to arrive was the best feeling ever and boy, I can't even describe the relief I felt when I saw him pile off the bus with the rest of his Marines.
The Old Man introduced me to everyone who worked so hard to stabilize Ramadi and that was such an honor. The Captain and a few guys from his squad found me just to tell me how strong the Old Man is and how well he led his Marines throughout the deployment. That day was one of the best days of my life. I only wish that the families of the 1/6 Marines who lost their lives could be with us to watch their Marines step off the bus that day.
He's been back in the states for a few weeks now and I'll tell ya, we haven't missed a beat. We had his welcome home party and surprised him with both of our families who flew in from out of town for dinner, a welcome home parade with the Patriot Guard Riders, and a surprise birthday party afterwards..
As for the parties, we're still not positive whether or not he knew about everything, but we're all pretty sure he had a hunch. The out pour of support from our community hasn't failed to bring tears to my eyes. From the handshakes, to those who walk by and salute the flag and banner draped across our front porch, to the thoughtful book that was left on our doorstep outlining a wonderful quote saying, "Thank you," to my husband for his service... We are so incredibly fortunate and blessed to be happy, health, and alive.
We had a nice semi-vacation on Emerald Isle the week after he returned home, bought a new truck, and adopted the cutest puppy ever while we were down in NC. We also managed to finish up the final decorating touches on the house and are about to go to MI, Aruba, and FL to visit everyone else who couldn't make it up to DC. Yes, it's ton of stuff to do, but you know what? Any other way just wouldn't be our style! :)
It's been tough, but we stuck by each other and are so excited to continue our lives together. For me, I think I've come to a close on this chapter of our lives. I've cried and celebrated and hugged and kissed and clung on to him a time or two. I still can't help but get all vaclempt every time I look at him or hold his hand since I'm so damn proud of him and everything he's accomplished. I also can't help but laugh every time I look at my "Flat Husband" sitting on the floor now rather than at the dinner table with me. I've been staring at that thing for so long that I almost forgot how much cuter he is in real life and how much more fun it is to poke and pinch him again! The final hurrah from this deployment was the story that Fox 5 did on us, which was sort of a way to close the door on these past 8 and a half months for me.
Click Here! to watch it.
So in sum, he's smiling, healthy, thankful, happy and home safe. He picked me up and spun me around when we were first reunited in Lejeune then carried me through the door of our new home in DC...
All without one head bump or knee bang! :)