I love Welcome Home celebrations. As you walk up to the crowd of people waiting, you can feel the anticipation and excitement. Music is blaring as you wait for the announcement that the soldiers have left the airport, and you know that in a few minutes, you will finally see your loved one in the flesh. You get butterflies in your stomach. You hope that you look beautiful to him (though you know you will) and you don't care that he may stink after days of traveling. You try not to cry, though you really want to because the deployment is finally over. Everything that you had to do to keep things from falling apart for the past year, every decision that you've had to make alone, all the times that you got so frustrated over simple everyday life, simply just melts away....because the other half of you is about to get off of that bus. No more worrying, no more loneliness. You feel an overwhelming sense of pride, in yourself for being such a big girl, but most importantly for him. You finally get that much needed hug and life once again goes back to normal.
That's exactly how I felt a little over a year ago, when Phillip came home from Iraq (and to see that look of relief on our son's face was absolutely the best moment of it all). I think it's safe to say that Mary felt pretty much the same way yesterday.
I even started to cry, because it's such an emotional and deeply personal event. Out of respect for the happy couple, I won't post other pics that were taken. I'll just say that indeed, it was a wonderful day. A husband (and a good friend) came home and I'm glad that we were able to be there for it.