I recently had the pleasure of attending a military homecoming for my friend’s husband. He had been deployed for several months and his return date had been delayed a few times. Needless to say, my friend was more than ready for her husband to come home.
We sat in the auditorium and waited for his plane to land. Once the plane landed, we had to wait for ALL the luggage to clear customs before the military members could be released to be reunited with their families.
There were so many children waiting to see their mommies and daddies. Some of the babies that I saw looked like they could be meeting their daddies for the first time. Children colored pictures, made signs, and watched a movie while they waited.
One of the ladies that I saw had five boys! They looked like they ranged in age from 10 years old to 4 months. I can’t imagine what it was like for her during the deployment. I hope she had support from friends and family because she definitely needed it. She seemed to have a lot of patience with the boys, but even the most patient parents need a break.
Finally, we were told that we could go outside and walk towards the flightline to meet our hometown heroes. I had my camera ready, as I was the designated photographer for my friend. I took several pictures of her to capture her emotions as she waited anxiously for her husband to come out of the hangar. After about thirty more minutes of waiting, I saw him come out of the hangar.
“There he is,” I told my friend with excitement. She started running up to him, but she had to wait before she could embrace him. He had to shake the hand of several high-ranking military members first.
After all of the formalities, they were finally able to embrace each other. Their first hug in months was beautiful. You could feel the joy and excitement of their reunion.
I love military homecomings. There is nothing like being reunited with the one you love.
As sad as it is to say, some military spouses did not get the chance to have the same kind of homecoming as my friend. Some of our military men and women didn’t make it home alive and their family members greeted their flag-draped casket on the flightline.
Just a few months ago, Mrs. P went through the nightmare of making funeral arrangements for her husband, who died while deployed to Afghanistan. My heart goes out to her and her beautiful little girl.
On this Memorial Day weekend, let’s look beyond the cookout, beach trip, and unofficial start of summer. Take time to pray for the loved ones of those that died to fight for our freedom. Also, please pray for our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families back home. They need our support and prayers.