Best. Day. Ever.
You’ve spent weeks doing projects around the house, picking out the perfect outfits and making welcome home signs. You’ve played this moment in your head 100 times, trying to imagine what it will feel like to see each other again. Will we even recognize each other? How will it feel to reconnect?
While in the midst of a deployment, dreaming of the reunion with your loved one fills your stomach with butterflies and gives you the courage to get through the next day on your own.
Homecomings are a huge deal for military families. Imagine reuniting with your loved one after several months apart. There have been missed holidays, family birthdays, timeline extensions and a few visits from the evil “Deployment Fairy” — better known as Murphy’s Law, as civilians like to call it. When you get a flat tire, broken dishwasher and the flu, you know, all in the same day. Yeah, that Deployment Fairy.
But not today. Today is the best day ever. Not only do you get to reunite, but it is also the moment you realize you made it. You have crossed the finish line and the countdown is complete. You can take a sigh of relief and be proud of all you’ve accomplished. Today, it’s over, and you’ll be reunited with your loved one. It’s homecoming day.
The Spradlin Family (USMC)
“My husband came home in between my children’s birthdays. This meant we had to have him pop out of a big box as their surprise birthday present. This moment is when Kara [my daughter] realized that he was actually in front of her for her birthday. It was the best birthday they will probably ever have.” –Candice Spradlin
The Thompson Family (USAF)
“My husband got to meet our daughter for the first time when she was 2 weeks old and see our toddler run to him for the first time (he left before she learned to walk!) It was such an incredible feeling of relief after so much stress and heartbreak of going through birth alone.” –Sydney Thompson
The Koehl Family (USMC)
“I decided to secretly add this precious Bernstein-Bear-looking, 9-week-old Goldendoodle puppy to our family to gift him for homecoming. Homecoming day was full of production –– having to bring a pen, treats, water/food bowl to contain Apollo. My son was too excited to keep the secret any longer. While the fanfare of the fly-in happened, he skipped out to quickly retrieve Apollo. Our photographer kept a watchful eye out, and she captured it all. The jaw-dropped-Marine-aviator, and this precious puppy, who was clueless about what had transpired but since that day has been this Marine’s best friend forever! I am quite proud of myself –– my mission was accomplished!” –Rosalinda Koehl
The Collier Family (USN)
“My husband was so emotional seeing our son after not seeing him for five months. I was definitely relieved and excited to see him reunited with our little one and myself. I feel like our emotions didn’t even really catch up with us until days two and three; it was a lot at one time, but it was just how I imagined it. He was grateful to be back with us and didn’t put our son down for a month. He was so happy!” –Evelyn Collier
The Ward Family (USMC)
“When we first saw each other, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Watching him [my husband] meet our daughter for the first time is something I’ll never forget. We were fortunate that he could be present via FaceTime for the birth, but he was so missed for the first three months of her life. Watching him reunite with my oldest and meet my youngest was tender. I want to remember how strong I was during this time of our lives and of the love we have for each other, even when you go through some of the lowest lows in your life.” –Ellen Ward
The Bailey Family (USN)
“That day, I had so many emotions. I had the biggest butterflies in my stomach just thinking about having him home. My husband had just missed his daughter’s birth by two weeks, and it was so hard not having him there. But in that moment, when we finally got our hugs, I haven’t ever given it a second thought!” –Haley BaileyRead comments