Sunday, January 10, 2010

Applauding our Soldiers...

It goes without saying, that we would applaud our soldier when he arrived home. But I must say that I was not prepared for the waiting.

We arrived at the airport early. I was somewhat surprised to see so many soldiers there. It must be one of the "hubs" for their arriving and departing. That was the first thing to prick this mom's heart. But it was easy for me to refrain from finding one to hug. My soldier would arrive soon.

Time for his plane to arrive and we moved from the food-court area to the corridor where the escalators brought the passengers up. All passengers from all flights come this way and then go to get their luggage.

We had to get behind a "barrier" to wait. The USO volunteers had a booth and were ready to make sure that all arriving Soldiers were properly greeted. We met several other families who were also waiting on their soldier. Some had made signs. All were so excited we could hardly contain ourselves.

We found out that once the plane landed, it would be nearly an hour before he actually made it up to this point because of customs. It was wonderful to get the call that he had landed. Sheer relief. Back on US soil. SAFE.

But as we waited, and as passengers came up the escalators, the moment that a soldier was spotted... Everyone immediately began to applaud! The USO ladies would greet them, and they were given a phone if needed to make a call - and then once again applauded. I have always wanted the opportunity to be part of such a group. One by one, many of our honorable men and women arrived... and we were able for a short minute to let them know that they are loved and appreciated for their service to us and to our country. For just a short moment, we could say "Thank You."

Needless to say, my eyes filled with tears, and often overflowed.

We had Brantley at the front, ready to scoot under the barrier and get to her husband as soon as we spotted him. Our first warning was just, "do not cross that red line" where the security guards were posted. But when one wife who was standing nearby, saw her soldier - she took off like a flash - and the red line meant nothing. Tunnel Vision. One thing in sight. Her Soldier. So, we told Brantley, "never-mind" the red line means nothing when you are going to greet your man.

For a solid hour, we waited and we applauded. We watched and I cried. We applauded and we waited. Soldier after soldier.

Then Hal said, "There he is!" Our boy was rising up on that escalator. Brantley did not have to cross the red line, Jonathan rushed/ran/hurried to wrap her in his arms. What a wonderful sight!

I do not have the words to express the emotion. Maybe this will capture some of it for you to see.

But I must say, you really have to be there. Seriously.

So, if you are ever at the airport as our Men and Women of our Military are arriving or departing and if you have just a few minutes to stop and stand and greet and applaud, I highly recommend it. They deserve it and you will be blessed by the opportunity.

I promise.


Jessica Reinhardt said...

I am so happy for ya'll--so glad that Jonathan is home safe and sound. I pray that you enjoy every moment of your time together.

Tanya said...

Again, I cried with you. Tears of joy and happiness. I am so happy for you all. I can not imagine exactly what you all felt, but I'm pretty close.

Wonderful pictures. Hopefully this time will go very slow for you all. Enjoy!! One day he'll be home for good.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

I don't have words...just sitting here with tears dripping down my face and onto my keyboard.

Beautiful glad he's home...oh, my I just can't stop crying. My heart is just overflowing with the emotion brought on by these pictures. Please tell him that we are so thankful to him, and to all of you who love him for your sacrifice.

Tammy said...

Wonderful!! And tears of joy with you.

Linda said...

DeeDee this was such a moving post. Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us through words, emotions, and the wonderful pictures.

I am so glad that your son is home for 2 weeks. I know that isn't much time but I am sure it will be sweet.

May God bless you all and keep your soldier safe!

Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Jennifer said...

How wonderful...and exciting!! I am so emotional just reading about your soldier's return - I can't imagine actually being at the airport for one of this event! I'd be a basket-case! :)

So happy he is home!! Thank the Lord for bringing him back safely.

Tricia said...

I am crying along with everyone else... so glad he is home safely! Praying for the Lord to multiply his time here and stretch it out...


Meredith said...

Well, I just cried a bucketful reading that. Took me back! Our waiting involved buses, but the emotion is the same--so thankful to see those pictures, lots of joy and glowing going on there! Thank you Jesus for safe arrivals and time away from combat!!

Son, Brother, Fiancee, Friend, Soldier said...

This is jonathan I am not signed in. But I want to say two things. Thank you all for all of your prayers. And two Look past brantley and I in the second picture at the soldier where mom caught one child RUNNING to his dad! THAT is what got to me. I know how I felt when my dad went to guatamalla(sp?) and nigeria. But to war? For a year? Just wanted to point that out. I love you mom.


Son, Brother, Fiancee, Friend, Soldier said...

Sorry I meant fourth picture.