It was everything we thought is was going to be and more! We started the day off with Jenn and the girls coming over and getting the baby girl and our snacks, then we headed over to Family parking to catch the bus to the hangar. The kids were excited but subdued, we had never been to a homecoming so they were a bit anxious.
We boarded the bus and they were thrilled to take their first bus ride! After arriving at the hangar and receiving our first briefing the kids checked out the children’s waiting room and we set up shop to wait. I ventured over to check the plane’s manifest to make sure my soldier was on that plane…I told you I would worry. Never fear he was!
When the plane began its decent we were invited to go out on the tarmac and watch the soldiers deplane. It was 40 some degree with winds and rain, but Robby and I huddled together and watched with tears and smiles as the plane touched down and the incredibly long ten minutes for them to deplane. Finally the soldiers started across the tarmac to the hangar. And there he was all smiles walking alongside Steven we yelled and waved and laughed and smiled and cried, “Welcome Home!” Robby and I hugged as Bobby was lost in a sea of ACU’s and he turned to me and said lets hurry inside so we can hug him.
Off we went to wait for the soldiers to form up and march into the hangar. It wasn’t very long and the large building erupted in cheers, I love you, Welcome home, That’s my soldier and last names were shouted throughout the room. A short speech, a few songs and a prayer of thanksgiving and they released the soldiers for the “hug exercise” the 15 minutes we get to hug our soldiers. At first Bobby headed in the wrong direction but four women yelling Holland and waving brought him our way. I’m not ashamed to say the I left the children to fend for themselves while I flew across the floor to get to my man, once in his arms he whispered, “I’m home. I’m home.” I cried again such tears of joy and stepped back to the let the kid get at him. Robby didn’t want to let him go for anything, Talitha too was in tears burying her head into his jacket. Ephraim stood to the side pulling on his sleeve to let him know he was ready for his turn. Bobby scooped him up into a bear hug and set him back down, at which time Ephraim began to explain the video games they would play and what characters they needed to win and so on and so on, and Bobby such a good Daddy managed to nod and follow his train of thought all the while hugging us and complimenting the girls on their tutu’s and the boys on their uniforms. Joshua got his turn hugged Daddy and then ran back to Jenn and yelled, “My Daddy’s home and he likes me!!”
They marched our soldiers back out again amidst cheers of proud families and friends. About two hours later we brought our soldier home, got him a shower a good meal and some much needed sleep, we are all so happy to have him home safe and sound. Thank you all for the prayers!