As I wait (im)patiently for C to redeploy I have been stalking the Facebook pages of his unit and BCT, where photos of the ongoing homecoming ceremonies are being posted. I *love* these pictures. Love them. Sometimes it’s just because I like to remember my own reunion moments with C– the awkward and the sublime. Mostly, though, it’s because they remind me of the secret joys of this lifestyle.
The homecoming ceremony is a side of Military life that is much played up in the media, but most of the time I think that they are making it look superficial; if not missing the point entirely.
While of course it is a relief to know that your soldier is home safe from a deployment, I believe it goes deeper than that.
Homecoming ceremonies and even airport reunions are tangible reminders of everything that is precious to us. It’s also a new beginning– I know that I have changed over these past 10 months, and I can almost guarantee that C has. It’s like starting to date someone. You feel that connection to them already, but you are pleased/surprised to find that there are new and interesting things to love about them at every turn. When you begin your relationship anew several times a year, it is quite impossible to be bored.
Military families don’t really have the luxury of taking time with their soldier for granted. Every new assignment, every deployment can take them away from you, or worse, put them in harm’s way. And so you treasure those little moments that might otherwise go unnoticed. I keep being surprised by what I have missed while he’s been away. The infamous Captain Morgan Fart, for one (don’t ask). A certain face that he makes when I say something ridiculous. Other, more tender moments. Do his quirks annoy me sometimes when we’re actually together? Hell yes! But it makes me pay attention while I have him.
There’s a lot to complain about when it comes to life, in general, and a life when you love a soldier, in particular. But when I look at these photos, I am reminded of all the beautiful things there are to cherish; even when everything else seems like a mess.
Reunited at C’s Basic Training Graduation, March 2010