Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Day They Come Home

             I picked an awfully dramatic title for this blog post. Most of the time I like to steer away from the "Army Wives" take on things like deployment and being in a long distance relationship. Many people are expecting this romantic and movie worthy moment when you see each other from across the auditorium and then run with tears streaming down your faces and embrace each other. Then a flock of screaming eagles is released and red white and blue fireworks go off and somehow you ran to your spouse in heels. 

             Yes, there are absolutely homecoming experiences like this (minus the eagles and fireworks usually) and they are beautiful to see. However, I see many spouses put a ton of pressure on themselves to have the perfect homecoming experience for their spouse.

            There are several things that stuck out to me that day:
                 1. Your spouse will be exhausted. Odds are they have been traveling for days and have hardly slept at all.
                 2. How you choose to welcome your spouse home is up to you. Some people have signs and photographers and others choose not to. It is entirely up to you! 
                3. Keep it low key the first day they come home. It is sensory overload to suddenly be back home after so long and can take a while to adjust
                4. There is no way you can predict what their mood will be like when they come home. Some people are excited, nervous, in shock, exhausted, or all the above. Yes, they are happy to see you, they just landed in the USA after a long time away so its a bit of a mind bender.
                5. Since they can't usually drive during deployments (if they do its usually no more than 15mph) so be prepared to have your spouse get a bit nervous when you drive over 40 on the highway. 
                6. They will smell and their stuff will smell...bad

             My husband and I were in a relationship at the time of his homecoming (on Thanksgiving) and I knew NOTHING about what to expect. I flew out from New Jersey and rented a car in Colorado to see him come home. Other than a close family friend who graciously gave up part of their  Thanksgiving to see him home there was just me and I DIDN'T HAVE A WELCOME HOME SIGN. I didn't know that people did that and even if I did there was no way I was bringing it on a plane.

             I'm not sure if Carson likes to do things a little differently but while I was standing there in the gym the soldiers entered through the doors and a smoke machine to the American songbird Toby Kieth's "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.".....doesn't get much more 'Merica than that.

             It all became a fog (not because of the smoke machine) I don't think I heard anything once they all came in. I couldn't see him since everyone is wearing the exact same thing but just knowing we were in the same room after almost 10 months apart seemed surreal. I didn't cry but then again I don't ever cry. The only time I nearly cried was when I saw a child crying when she saw her Daddy because could you not? When we finally saw each other through the sea of green it was a huge hug, a big kiss, and just a giant relief. 

            While it felt like no time was apart at first we soon realized that we needed to get used to being in the same country again. It can take time and can be easier for some couples than others. There is no easy way to simply pick up where you left off. It will take time, and at times be painful. You don't need to be afraid to reach out for help if you need to.

 If there is one thing most military spouses can say is that "We've been there. We get it. We're here if you need us."

1 comment

  1. Thank you so much Madeline! This is my first serious relationship (and hopefully the one and only!) We have no clue as to when THE DAY will be. Nevertheless I want to be as prepared as possible. Blog on, girl!


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