At exactly midnight, almost 150 soldiers walked into the gym at USAG Bavaria – Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany to greet stands full of cheering friends and family!
I was at the gym with my daughter, Emily and my son, Matthew along with my best friend Chasity (who was behind the camera taking all the pictures!) As the soldiers began walking into the gym… my heart started racing, looking for my soldier! Finally, my daughter whispered to me, “I see Daddy!”
And there he was in the front row, directly in front of us! You can see in the picture above that he’s standing to the right of the soldier wearing the Stetson hat in the front row!
We were minutes away from our reunion and I could hardly contain my excitement! Even though I’d gone through this ceremony twice before, seeing my husband standing there gave me chills and brought extreme joy to my heart!
The Chaplain said a prayer and a high ranking Colonel in the unit said a few remarks. And after 2 short minutes… the soldiers were released!
Me and the kids waited at our seats for the crowds to pass and for Dave to walk over to us. But, my daughter Emily could hardly container her emotions. She was so happy, elated, emotional that tears instantly started flowing as she ran to and hugged her father.
This was Dave’s third deployment, and the shortest. His first was 16 months to Iraq, second was 12 months to Iraq and finally this deployment was 7 months to Afghanistan. Although this was the shortest deployment, it was definitely the most difficult. I was in Germany while he was at war… far away from my family and friends. And I now had a toddler and teenager to raise on my own. Challenges I never imagined being able to tackle without my husband.
But, the moment was finally here. The moment our family would be together again. 7 months had gone since I had held my husband in my arms. 7 months had passed since I had felt his arms around me. 7 months since I felt the love in his kiss.
Once Matty got a hold of Dave… he wouldn’t let go! I snapped this picture just as we were heading out of the gym… So precious.
My husband is home. My family is together again. And I am so filled completely filled with joy! These next few months of our lives together are going to be so amazing.
The Army has allowed Dave to take 4-day weekends between now and Memorial Day and then in June he’ll get 22 days off! We plan to travel, spend a lot of time together and enjoy our time here in Europe!
Thank you to everyone who has loved and supported me though out this deployment. I truly appreciate your kind words of encouragement and support! It has truly helped get me through it!
As you might imagine, I’ll be spending the next week or so glued to my husband. So… I’ll be taking some time off from baking and blogging. Have no fear though! I’ve got two of my great friends and bloggers filling on JavaCupcake for me!
And just for fun… here’s a look back at the Homecoming Ceremonies from all three of our deployments! Boy has my family changed!