I don't have any pictures of the guys coming in the doors. I was too busy *trying* to tape it for my family that couldn't be here. They warned us that the buses were pulling up and we all needed to be seated. Finally they were introduced and the doors flew open and the smoke machine started blowing and our guys started marching in. The noise we made was deafening. The video I made shook the whole time. I looked up at my camera to see my hand shaking uncontrollably! But in the sea of camo, I couldn't spot Joe. I found out later than he was in the back row so I never had a chance. When they dismissed everyone, we all stumbled down the bleachers. I walked towards the group of guys we had spotted as E Company, still not spotting Joe. The random smoke didn't help anything. All of a sudden he popped into my field of vision!! I have never been so excited in my life. Literally. I've been on this Earth for just over 27 years, and nothing compares to the feeling of hugging Joe after a year long deployment. Home. He's home. I will never forget the look on Joe's face. He had the biggest smile on his face. I've never seen him that purely happy. We immediately went to look for his bags. Which was a task all in itself!
While walking to the car with the first load of bags, I gave Joe his wedding ring back. It's made of titanium and cannot be cut so he's not allowed to wear it downrange just in case there's an injury. I've been wearing it since the day he left a year ago. I will never forget him slipping it on my finger on the day he deployed. I was SO happy to give it back.
Joe has been home for 5 days now. I cant believe it's been that long! It seems like he just got here. He had the 4-day pass. And I took time off of work so we've had lots of quality time together. It still feels like I have to give him back soon. It dawns on us both, he's home. We have to touch each other constantly. Even in the grocery store, Joe grabs my hand. He watches me sleep. And is even nice to Rigel! :) I'm sure getting back to normal will be strange, but I think we're on a good track.
Joe paused in the kitchen and turned to me with a smile on his face, "Sara, where do the measuring cups go?"
My man is home. :) It's been a long year. A VERY long year, but we did it!! We made it through!!