Finally! Patrick is home! And I am posting it! It was a great day, filled with lots of ups and downs... Most people probably don't realize this about the military, but we really have no idea when they are coming home. When he left, I had no clue when I'd see him again. Your best guess was as good as mine.
Eventually you will receive a flight window, which will give you something to countdown to. A few days before arrival you will get word of the actually day and an estimate on the time. Now, anything minor can change that in a major way. When Patrick was coming home from Iraq he was delayed a full 24 hours.
This time it was a total rollercoaster. Instead of one big delay it was up, down, and all over the place. He was supposed to be back around 6 pm. About a day before they pushed it back to 8 pm. Then the day of we got word it was back up to 6! Not even 5 minutes after reading that message from the battalion commander I got a phone call from Pat saying that they hit major delays and the phone went dead. Awesome.
We came to find out that they hit bad weather somewhere along their route (who knows where they really go). Snow and fog I think? Anyways... 7 hour delay meant a late night arrival, sometime around 1 am. That's what we all prepared for and I didn't even go out and get my nails done until around 6 pm (his original arrival time). While I was there I heard that they were running early and it was looking like 11 pm! And the time just kept moving up from there. So I rushed home and started to get ready, and off we went! I even managed to remember everything I needed.
By the time we got to base, got visitor passes for family, we arrived at the battalion just about the same time the guys were getting to base! They had to go to the armory and turn in their weapons (which they did in record time... 200 guys in about 20 minutes) and then they were finally in our arms! All in all we only waited about an hour outside for the marines to arrive. Most of which Gunnar slept in my arms for. Then with all the cheering from the loved ones also there to greet their heroes, he awoke with a start and was screaming his head off... But when things calmed down, so did he, and he loved loving on his Dad for the very first time.
We couldn't be more happy to have our hero home. We are thoroughly enjoying settling into our life as a family of three (or five if you count the dogs, like I do). And we are looking forward to a good, long time of having Patrick home with us. Enjoy the pictures that my sister Kelly took (can't thank you enough, Kel!)