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The Meaning of Homecoming

When most people hear the word homecoming, they think of fancy dresses, a Friday night football game, a royal court and a night of dancing. Ask any military wife what she thinks of when she hears that word and you’ll get a completely different take on it.

A fellow Army wife, who also happens to be a dear blogging friend, recently welcomed her husband home from a long and grueling deployment. I know the feeling and seeing her pictures and how happy she was touched my heart in more ways that I could explain to all of you. Congrats Leigh!

No matter how long Z has been home, or how many times I’ve seen a homecoming, I can assure you tears fall, heart sinks and stomach fills with a million butterflies. There’s nothing like seeing a reunion between a soldier and his family. Nothing. And to be the one actually experiencing the rush of emotions, unexplainable.

Despite putting hubby’s deployment behind me and the next one not scheduled for another year or so, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by emotion and remember the ups an downs of our deployment as if it were yesterday.

Waiting for a phone call just to know he was still alive. My heart stopping with every knock on the front door. Hearing Skype ring and waiting in anticipation to see my husband’s face. Sending care package after care package and filling out those damn custom forms. Spending holidays and birthdays apart. Feeling completely alone, even when in a crowd of people. Barely sleeping and waking up in the middle of the night to a ringing phone. Taking pictures of my growing belly and tackling a horrific pregnancy alone.

I could go on forever. Things like those and an experience like that are memories I’ll unfortunately take with me for the rest of my life, and due to the nature of this lifestyle, it’s an all too real possibility it will happen again.

And my side of it is just the beginning. Dealing with his hardships and the things he’s seen, the loss of fellow soldiers, and the close calls he was lucky enough to avoid surface from time to time as well. But for now, the only thing I can possibly do is pray neither of us have to endure this pain again.

I am thankful my husband made it home safely and that I can say I survived a deployment. 10 months apart and better yet, during our first year of marriage. Z and I have spent more time apart than we have together, but I’m confident that just means we have a long and happy life ahead of us to make up for it.

When it all comes down to it, I married the man of my dreams knowing that I was marrying the Army too. You all know my stance on the whole ” you knew what you were getting into” debate, so I’ll stay away from that. But in all honesty, I have faith in our marriage, I have faith in God, and I have faith that if we do have to experience a deployment again, I will have that beautiful moment of wrapping my arms around his neck in a gym full of soldiers and their families.

For now, I will count my blessings, enjoy every second I can with my two boys, and thank God everyday for bringing my soldier home safe.

Here’s to happy homecomings… And hoping we don’t have to worry about another one for awhile 😉


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