Balance, Bonding and Expectations
One mother's advice for military parents
Finally, the day had come! The end of the seven month deployment was here! I was so anxious to finally pull in to see my husband and kids on the pier. I had seen all of the sappy commercials and television shows about homecomings and spent 210 days envisioning ours.
I raced off the brow, searching the crowd for my family. Then I heard my son's sweet little voice screaming "MOM!" as he ran up to me.
He jumped in my arms and we squeezed each other tight just as I had pictured! After a few moments I put him down to make my way to my husband and my one-year-old daughter. I approached her and slowly took her from her father's arms and into mine. I looked into her eyes waiting to hear her say "mama" and embrace me just as her brother had. I got nothing. No response, just a blank stare. Just then a Photographer's Mate walked up to take photos of our reunion. I cracked. All of the tears I had held in during deployment opened up like a flooded dam.
The photo snapped in that moment has been used in so many publications. It is printed in huge poster size at some Naval Facilities. It is used on the coins in Iraq. Everybody that sees it says the same thing, what a beautiful reunion.