My Husband's Homecoming

Aug 5, 2009

In 2005, my husband returned from his tour in Iraq. The week he returned, I sent out the following email to friends telling them all about his homecoming. I wanted to post this email to share with those of you who didn't know us then. And, maybe a few of you will enjoy reading about that happy time once again. At that time, we only had one child - our daughter, Jordan. Rob had been gone from the week she turned one until she was two and a half.

Here it is:

Well, it only took a year and a half, but Rob is FINALLY back in Texas - safe and sound (and so are all his soldiers!) YEAH!!!!!

Half of Rob's Company arrived on Wednesday night at Fort Hood (the other half's flight was delayed due to mechanical problems and they didn't arrive until Thursday night.) Jordan and I drove up to greet them that evening. I was so nervous I was going to miss the event. I had heard that it could take up to an hour and a half to get a parking permit to get on Fort Hood and I wasn't really sure what time their flight was arriving.

We got on post and went into the parking permit building and took a number (we had a pretty long wait ahead of us.) I began chatting with a soldier while Jordan ran off some energy. At one point, she came up to me and the soldier, stood right in front of him and said, "Is this my daddy?" If it wasn't such an exciting evening it would have been sad. I said to her, "No, but he's going to look just like this!"

The soldier was so nice that he gave me his number (which was 15 ahead of mine) and told me he wasn't in a hurry. They gave me a pass that was good for 2 years. I told them, "I don't want to be coming here for two years! I never want to come here again!"

We got to the parade field and waited for the unit to arrive. The USO was there serving desserts and drinks, loud music was playing over the speakers and the Cavalry was at hand. Jordan loved petting the horses and dancing (by herself) in the middle of the parade field. It was WAY past her bedtime, but she could obviously sense the excitement and was all wound up.

They announced over the speakers at 10 pm that the soldiers would arrive from the airport on their buses in 2 minutes. We all stood up, ready to watch. Four buses came from the right and parked on the opposite side of the field. The cheering began as the soldiers all made their way off of them. Because the doors were on the other side of the buses, we couldn't see them. Once they were off, the buses pulled away (just like Extreme Home Makeover) and a few hundred soldiers were standing in formation behind them.

The Cavalry and their band led the soldiers forward onto the field. And, it was at that second that I realized I was living the best moment of my life. To have lived for 18 months with the fear of soldiers knocking at my door at any time - and to now know that my husband was once again safe on US soil and this ordeal was just about behind us . . . it's better than any wedding day.

Jordan was BEYOND excited. She stood in front of me, holding her litle sign, saying over and over again, "My DADDY'S in there!"

Some General spoke (about what, I do not know) and then a Chaplain prayed, to thank God for their safe return and then it was announced that the ceremony was over. The soldiers had to be back on their bus by 10:30 pm. I grabbed Jordan - out of fear she would be trampled by the stampede - and hoped that Rob had seen us waiitng for him, because I knew I didn't know where he was in that crowd.

Within 30 seconds, I saw him coming towards us. We reached each other and Jordan went straight from my hip into her Daddy's arms - no uncertainty, no fear. She just kept touching his face and giggling and smiling and saying, "My daddy!" She also kept putting her arms around my neck and Rob's and bringing our heads together and laughing. I realized that the look on her face was nothing short of pure joy.

From there on in, it was a long night. ALL the soldiers had to get back on the bus and drive up to North Fort Hood (an hour drive). We waited for quite awhile behind the buses, in our car, while Rob made sure that no soldiers left in other vehicles. (Jordan was NOT happy that her daddy was not in the car with us.) Then, we followed the buses (and Rob) up to North Fort Hood where Rob got his unit situated in the barracks and I waited in the car until 12:30 am. Good thing I had a good book on tape to listen to and Jordan dozed. Rob came back to us and we got into our hotel room by 1 am. We were asleep by 1:30 and Jordan woke us up at 5:30. Rob had to be back on post at 7:30, so we got ready and took him back and Jordan and I returned to Austin.

Rob now has to stay at Fort Hood until about Tuesday. After that, he has to go up to Dallas (that is where he is actually stationed and thus, has work to do up there.) Hopefully, he'll actually be HOME next weekend.)

Thank you to everyone for all of your prayers and support since November of 2003. I could NEVER have done this alone. All of your emails, phone calls, letters, dinners, etc, have been priceless and really pulled me and Jordan through a difficult time.

We look forward to spending time with all of you - as a family!

Kelly, Jordan and ROB!!!!


Jenny Meyers said...

I remember reading this at the time. Still makes me smile!

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