Everyone felt the swell of pride upon seeing the Wounded Warriors leading our Soldiers home, but trust me when I tell you that these were not all the wounded from that tour. We had many more that were (and some that still are) in treatment facilities.
I will never forget the relief I felt when my husband was back in my arms. However, I have to say the effects of deployment do not end when they step off that plane. We have rode the roller coaster of ups and downs this past year as we adjust back to "normal". The kids had to get used to having their Daddy around. Pat had to get used to living with children (and a wife) instead of Soldiers. He needed time to decompress for the stress of what he'd been though. We also had a lot of stuff going on in our personal lives during this year since his return.
In some ways it feels like it's been a very long time since he returned home and yet in others it feels so recent that we shared that first hug in the hangar. If I had a say, I'd never want him to go away again, but that choice isn't 100% mine.
While today is an anniversary of such a happy day, it's bittersweet, especially for Pat. Many of Pat's fellow Soldiers are preparing to leave on their next "rendezvous with destiny", possibly some of the Soldiers seen in the above photo. It is unimaginable to me to have to be saying goodbye again so soon, but I know that some of the families around me are doing just that. My prayers are with all of them, and I hope that their time for homecoming arrives quickly.
So today, please send a quick thought to all the military families out there. Some are struggling with goodbye, others are dealing with the distance deployment brings, and some are fortunate to have their loved ones home for now. No matter which phase they are in, military families could always use a good thought sent their way.
April 28, 2012
One year ago today I was welcoming my husband home from his third deployment. This was a deployment unlike the previous ones he had experienced. All deployments are hard, but I feel like during that deployment I learned how to live without breathing. One particular image of the homecoming will forever be burned in my mind.