The Army decided to fly my husband back commercial as they didn't want to keep him there the extra days it would have taken to get him on a military plane back. So I got to meet him at the airport and greet him the moment he stepped off the plane (yay for gate passes!). I was so excited about seeing him that my whole body was shaking from the moment I saw his plane pull up to the gate until well after I was back in his arms. That first hug and knowing I had him back safe and sound was the best feeling!
My husband's deployment was part of a program where they deploy you after AIT and before reporting to your FDS to basically give you a jump start in your MOS. Before he left, he had been on TDY at Ft. Bragg for a few weeks. Since he deployed from Bragg, that's where he returned to in order to return gear that he had checked out from one of their units, so we spent much of the last two weeks together in Fayetteville.
After leaving the airport together, we immediately returned to the hotel I had checked into so he could drop off his bags, and of course see his babies Kiba and Saki. The dogs were so excited to have their daddy back! We're still not sure if Saki really even understood what was going on, but Kiba went crazy when she saw her daddy and was so happy to have her parents back together.
Since he was on TDY status there with nothing to really do, simply waiting for his gear to return that was sent back after him, hubby and I got to spend practically 24/7 together from the moment he returned until earlier this week. We ate out lots, spent time shopping, and I even managed to drag him to see Finding Nemo in 3D with me! We lived out of suitcases in a hotel, dogs in tow, until late last week when he was approved for a pass to travel back home for a long weekend since we live just five hours away.
|A happy Saki getting a mid-car ride head rub from his daddy|
We got to spend a few nights at home in our own bed (which we seriously need to upgrade btw... after a week of sleeping in a king-sized bed at the hotel, it became even more apparent that we need something larger than the full we've had for years). We got to visit one of our favorite restaurants/bars in town, got to visit some family down in middle Georgia, and also got to go to our church together for the first time since July 2011, all before heading back to NC on Monday.
Originally hubby was only supposed to be at Bragg for no more than a day or two, but since the return of his gear was unexpectedly delayed, it basically threw off timelines for everything else for us for the next month or so. After hubby received and turned in his gear, he was then on the next plane out of Fayetteville to get back to his AIT location, as technically he was still attached to his old brigade there throughout the deployment and had to return there for meetings, briefings, and ultimately out-process for our PCS.
So sadly after a week and a half of being back together, we're now separated again. But at least this time it's for a much shorter period of time! Our time together was great and we pretty much fell right back into our natural rhythm with each other. Before he left, I had people tell me that this deployment would change him and he wouldn't be the same person, basically trying to instill fear in me in hopes that I would/could somehow talk him out of going, however I pretty much see the same man I've always known. The only difference now is he has a clearer picture of where he'd like to go and how he would like to advance his career.
After months of uncertainty, we finally have some dates for how the next month and a half are going to pan out and confirmation that we will actually be in our town about a month longer than originally expected. Since timelines were thrown off and it was beginning to look as though I would ultimately be responsible for cleaning and checking out of our apartment and driving our car and pets out to Texas by myself, meeting hubby there with his early October report date, hubby's LNO from the deployment decided to help us out a bit to make our move easier and now hubby's orders have been tweaked so that he will now be coming home for two weeks of hometown recruiting duty before we ultimately, and FINALLY, report to our first duty station.
It has been a VERY long journey, with way too much time spent apart from each other since hubby originally left home for BCT August of last year, but we're now finally getting our time back together!