Today I was thinking about the homecoming that is still about four months away. I realized I get something civilian spouses probably never will. No homecoming that I can imagine can compare to the excitement, the nervousness, the jitters that you get while you’re waiting in the bleachers listening to the piped in music. Being told that the buses are X minutes away. Hearing the patriotic music (usually a bunch of Toby Keith songs..lol) and then… it happens.
The music stops for a minute and the chosen song starts. In they march. All in formation. Knowing so many of them are using what little self-restraint they have to march orderly. To stand at attention while they hear one last speech and thanks from a higher ranking soldier.
You scan the rows of nearly identical people. All identical until you see him. Even though you haven’t seen him in what feels like forever, you know his walk. You know his stance. You scream louder. Cry harder. Wave more frantically trying to get his attention. You see the slight smiles of the soldiers trying to be stoic when they hear the ruckus of everyone screaming their welcome. You blink through the tears, looking in amazement and awe at the man you love with all of your heart. And know that tonight, tonight you sleep in the same bed with him.
Finally, at long last, they’re dismissed. You make your way to your soldier –through the crowds of other eager family members -- and that sweet moment that you are finally in his arms for the first time in too many months .
There’s no homecoming near as sweet.