I am a big sap. Especially when it comes to patriotic things. I cry whenever I hear the Star Spangled Banner. Or any of the services songs (The Air Force Song, Anchors Aweigh, etc). Whenever they show those clips on the news of troops returning home from Iraq, Afghanistan, etc, I really lose it. Christine mentioned the ads for that new show about those homecomings. I know that I won't be watching it. There's not enough kleenex in the world to get me through that!
I haven't always been such a mush. Only for the last 13 years or so. I married a military man. We never lived in the same town until we got married. While we dated, we lived about three and a half hours apart. We saw each other most weekends. I hated Sundays. I would cry & carry on ridiculously. If the me now saw the me then, I would be so annoyed. After pilot training he was sent even farther away. I thought I would die. That was nothing. Even after we were married he wasn't away for more than two or three weeks at a time, and then he was still in the US.
When SugarPlum was five months old, SugarDaddy was deployed to southwest Asia, in support of Operation something or other. I have never been so scared or sad or frantic in my life. He was to be gone for 90 days or so. We were allowed two fifteen minute phone calls per week. The lines were pretty unreliable, so we always started those calls with "I love you," in case we were disconnected. That was such a trying time. In the time that he was gone, SugarPlum started eating solid food, learned to sit up, crawl, pull-up, cruise along the furniture and how to say several words. She was nine months old when he returned.
But oh, when he returned, it was one of the most wonderful days of my life. All of the families waited in a hangar on base and watched for the jets to arrive. The air was electric with our excitement and anticipation. As the jets pulled up, we got to run out & meet our husbands, daddies,etc. It was just like something out of a movie. I jumped into his arms and he hugged both his girls like there was no tomorrow. The time while he was away was so tense & scary. That moment held as many tears as his departure did, but they were tears of joy and relief and release.
There were many, many other deployments & reunions. The departures never get any easier. The homecomings are always sweet. Perhaps I will share another soon.
The point of this post is to thank all of those who are deployed right now and to thank their families as well. I can't fathom the long separations they are enduring. You have my prayers and admiration. You all are true patriots. You make America proud. Happy Independence Day!!