A couple of weeks ago, after countless date changes, it was finally THE DAY. The one we'd been anticipating for the past 348 days. HOMECOMING.
The flight was scheduled to come in at around 10:00pm. Christopher and Nicholas went to school like any other Thursday and Ben, Lexie, and I met Stephanie and Luke for breakfast at Panera. We ran some errands to kill time and then picked the big boys up from school. I didn't want to take the kids home and mess up the clean house so we did some more running around before meeting Stephanie and Luke at Green Ramp (where the planes land) at around 5:30pm.
We were the first to arrive (our plan to secure the front row), however, we found out another unit had a homecoming there before ours and they wouldn't be done until nearly 8:00pm AND our homecoming would be an hour later!! We all ended up heading back to our house and relaxing a bit before heading back to Green Ramp.
When we got back there (with Katie, too) the other unit was done with their celebration and we started setting up for ours. Since we're all involved in the FRG we needed to help coordinate the set-up for the food/water for family members as well as our table to sell the company shirts. The kids all had a blast running around, talking to people, and doing arts and crafts provided by the wonderful people from the USO.
Ben coloring-- you'd never know it's three hours after bedtime!!
Stephanie and Katie spent the next few hours holding down the fort at our front row bench while I dealt with all the drama of a large homecoming (food was late, people weren't in the right place, etc). It was finally around 11:00pm and you could hear the rumble of an airplane. They announced the flight over the loud speaker and everyone cheered!! We watched them walk off the plane and then headed back inside for the ceremony.
clockwise from top left: Lexie playing with an airplane from the USO; me, Steph, and Katie; Christopher playing DS with his friends; Ben and Lexie waving flags in anticipation
The Soldiers came inside the building in a single file line (so it was easy to spot your Soldier) and then lined up in formation. After the invocation and ceremony- which was surprisingly quick- the Soldiers were all released and able to go find their families! This is video of them walking in and this is video of the invocation and ceremony.
Where is he??? DADDY'S HOME!!!!!!!
♥ TOGETHER AGAIN ♥