A Dreary but Sweet Homecoming
It was a long seven months, but the day finally came. Homecoming! The day was the same as when my husband left in October, rainy. But this didn’t damper our spirits. The boys were extra excited because Grandpa, my father-in-law, would be arriving along with my husband. He was a part of the “Tiger Cruise” which allowed sailors to have a couple of family members join them on the ship for the last two days of their homecoming journey. My husband had arranged for his dad to meet the ship in North Carolina as they sail up the coast into Virginia.
The homecoming was set for 10 am. However, the boat was just arriving into view at that time. By the time they dock and secure the ship to the pier, I was sure that we would not see the men until noon. Since it was raining, the boys and I elected to stay in our car and hope it stops raining long enough to meet my husband and his dad at the pier.
As sailors were being let off the boat, I awaited my husband’s call saying when it was his turn to leave. Close to noon, he called. He was just coming down the stairs unto the pier. At that very moment, the rain had stopped. I was happy. We all were. I got the boys out of the car and we headed to meet the guys. After what seemed like an hour but was probably more like 15 minutes, I could see my husband and father-in-law in the crowd of uniformed men and women who were crying, taking photos, and hugging their loved ones.
After finishing our hugs and kisses, we quickly got away from the crowd to take a couple of photos and head back to the car. All my husband wanted to do was go home and all we wanted was to have him home. As he walked into the front door, I was surprised that Sammie, our dog, had remembered him. This was her first time going through a deployment and I was sure that she would probably bark a few times until she was sure my husband was ‘safe’. Instead, she was jumping for joy trying to get in her wet nose kisses too. What a homecoming for her too.
To read more about the USS Kearsarge’s homecoming and view more pictures, click here.
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