Well I am so happy to report that my man is FINALLY back on US soil!!! So sorry I have not updated the blog sooner, but we have been so busy with ceremonies and just trying to catch up. So I am going to go back to Friday and set the stage for you...
Friday afternoon I was in such a hurry to get out of the door that I completely forgot to update the blog. I called my friend Melissa to update the blog (thanks girl!) so that everyone would know it was now officially time to go. The caravan set off for the long drive to Ft. Stewart. When we left, we thought that the guys were scheduled to arrive around 0300 (3 am) so we had plenty of time. We were going to check in our hotel and try to rest a little bit before heading to the ceremony field to get our men. Well, half way through our drive I get a phone call that the plane is EARLY! WHAT??? EARLY...did I hear that right...a plane was going to actually be early??? Not just early, but 3 hours early!!! Well after a few seconds of freak out I regained composure and put the pedal to the medal :) I think that we arrived in record time (even with stopping for a QUICK bite to eat and a full tank of gas) We arrived at the hotel, checked in, unloaded our luggage, took a quick shower, got ready and was back out the door to the ceremony field all in about 30 minutes. Whew...and I think I remembered to breathe at some point in that time. So all that rushing around we get out the door and I get a phone call that now the plane is about an hour behind schedule. Ok...an hour...good...gives me little time to let my nerves settle (yea right) Luckily all us army wives are staying at the same hotel so we ride together to the ceremony field (remember it is now 12:30 am) We arrive to the field and no one is there...little unusual...finally we spot a man in a truck who looks like he knows what is going on. He tells us that the plane is no longer an hour behind, but 3 hours behind...did you feel my heart sink...with that he directs us to a MOC center where the other families are hanging out and loading up on coffee. SO off we go to the center.
This is us (Angela, me, and Ayshia) waiting...I drank coffee that I promise you was left over from the last unit that came home. But that is ok..it kept me awake. There was about 10 of us family members just hanging out. It was great to have a group there to pass the time with. The soldiers that were there with us did a terrific job with keeping us updated with everything. And their hospitality was really terrific.
Finally, after 3 long hours and a lot of old coffee, we are at the ceremony field. It is now 0330 (3:30am) The army band is out playing in full force and some really sweet veterans were there as well. It was amazing to see these folks out at this time of the morning, especially the veterans. At this point, we hear the sirens and see the flashing lights...THE BUSES!!!! are coming down the road. WE all high tail it to the back of the bleachers and are screaming, waving, cheering, crying, clapping...there were so many emotions going on.
The buses drop the soldiers off behind the sign...still can not see them, but we can see their boots. We are still jumping, screaming, clapping, cheering, crying....A man comes up to each one of us with a microphone so we can give a big shout out to our soldier...well leave it to me to be the loudest (and probably most country sounding) I shout..."JASON CROW I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!" (to which he later tells me he most certainly did hear me and he received a few AWWW Crow responses) I just love to embarrass my hubby :) The band is still playing...we are all dancing at this point...even the veterans :) Finally the soldiers move into formation and begin to make their way to the ceremony field.
And here they are!!!! The lighting was terrible and my flash just was not enough, but you get the idea :)
The ceremony was very brief...short and sweet...at this point all I can remember is hearing the command to go get your soldier. Well that is all that I needed to hear. I started off near the back of the line and wouldn't you know that I was the first person down the stairs and off the platform...hahahaha. It took my just a couple seconds to find my man...but let me tell you that those few moments felt like an eternity. As soon as I laid eyes on my man I took off in full sprint and literally jumped in his arms. I held on so tight to Jason and did not want to let go. I do not have any pictures of this, oh well. I just could not get it all together after this point in order to even think about taking a picture. After I finally let go of my husband, I looked around for all the "Alabama guys" and gave each one of them a big hug and welcome home. I am so proud of these soldiers and the great job each one of them did! By now it is 0400 (4am) and the guys still had to get all their bags unloaded. By the time everything was unloaded, we were at the hotel and it was 5am and we had to be back for the next ceremony at 1500 (3 pm)
Sign going into the ceremony.
My soldier! I love him so much :)
My hubby and me at the second ceremony of the day...can we say long day????
Jason receiving his medal.
And here we are again at the ceremony :)
Finally, the last ceremony is over....
So I think I have caught everyone up on the first 24 hours leading up to and after seeing Jason. I am still here at Ft. Stewart. Jason and I will be here this week while he goes through the demobilization process. The kids are staying with my mom so that Jason and I can have some much needed time together. The kids are having a great time and I know that they are being loved on (yea right they are being spoiled rotten) Mom, thank you so much for taking great care of the kids so that I can have a much needed break and some quality time with Jason.
Jason, I am so proud of you and the terrific job that you did while you were deployed. I am so honored to be your wife! I love you!
Ok...I think that this blog is long enough for today...check back soon as I will add more pictures of my time with my man.