Friday, May 05, 2006

Best things first......

I know I said I'd post about my trip to Paris, and I will, but there's something more important I need to talk about first......

Monday, Katie and I made a trek out to the airport to meet up with one of Seth's buddies. He'd just spent two glorious weeks of R&R with his wife and 1-year-old son and had a layover in Dallas on his return to Iraq. We went out to the airport to buy his lunch and entertain him for the afternoon. Yeah, I took off from work to do it, my boss is the best. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time with him, and he said we were a great distraction for him as he was down about leaving his family again. It wasn't the first time I'd had lunch with a soldier, other than my son, who was on his way back to Iraq, and hopefully, it won't be the last. Casanova was the first one nearly two years ago...... :) Ahhhh, but I digress.

While sitting at the airport waiting for his flight to start boarding, I couldn't help but notice the other soldiers...some were with their families. One soldier had his wife and two children with him. His son was about 3 and his daughter only 1. He followed right behind her as she toddled through a maze near the boarding area. I watched the soldier's face and could see the joy and pain he felt at that moment. How difficult it must be for these soldiers to leave their little ones behind, especially at the age when they are growing up so quickly, learning to walk and talk. I watched as Seth's friend, Gabe, talked to his wife and son on the phone several times while he waited. He tried hard to keep his emotions in check, but they showed on his face and in his eyes. At one point, after he talked to them one last time before boarding, his eyes started to water and he commented that something was making his eyes burn...yeah, something indeed. It was all I could do to keep from crying myself. The whole thing was like deja vu and reminded me of seeing Seth off two months earlier.

As the soldiers lined up to board, the most amazing thing happened...everyone in the terminal near the boarding area started clapping and cheering. The applause was thunderous and so heart-warming and moving. I still get goosebumps and teary-eyed when I think about it. And of course, the USO cart ladies were there with goodies and hugs. They brought smiles to the soldiers' faces as they were leaving.

Right before Gabe boarded, Katie and I gave him a big hug and told him to take care of himself...and to give Seth a hug for us when he got back. He was like, no way am I hugging him......hahaha, guys...... :) As he walked through the gate, he turned with a huge smile and waved to us. Before we got out of the airport, we got a text message from him thanking us for coming out to meet him...that we had helped him alot. Well, needless to say, that made my, it made my week, month, and more.

For those of you who live in an area that has a hub for military R&R comings and goings...if you've never been out to welcome them home or see them off, you're missing something absolutely wonderful. I can't begin to describe the feelings it evokes in me, but my heart is bursting at the seams by the time I walk out the door. I'm so proud of all our military......and so humbled by them. May God bless and watch over them all!!!


Blogger Courtney said...

Aww I am in tears. How awesome. I know the good it does to distract those guys while they are waiting. Danny didn't have anybody really and that made him very sad. I am glad you were there for him and I am sure his wife was too.

5/5/06, 12:26 PM  
Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

What a beautiful story. You rock an so does our military.
May God bless them all.

5/5/06, 12:55 PM  
Blogger dyzgoneby said...

You brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful thing you do for them. I wished I lived somewhere close to a hub, where I could go.

Thank you for sharing a heart warming expierence.

5/6/06, 10:46 AM  
Blogger yankeemom said...

Oh I have goosebumps just reading it! It's so wonderful you were there to be with him. I bet he does hug Seth, with the total guy disclaimer "this is from your Mom!"

5/6/06, 12:22 PM  
Blogger kbug said...

Just heard from Gabe on the IM yesterday that he had made it "home." When I asked him, laughingly, if he'd given Seth his hugs, he said he tried to, but... "he backed away and said hell f*#ken no" Now that's priceless..... :)

5/6/06, 4:01 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

My husband will be in Dallas soon, coming home for R&R. It's nice to know that people like you who are in the area come by to make sure they know they are supported. Thank you so much!

5/6/06, 6:44 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog. What a GREAT story!!! Reminded me of just 2 weeks ago when we picked up my husband & our kids running to him. Everyone in the airport was in tears. Something I will NEVER EVER forget! Thank you for your support & please keep in touch!

5/7/06, 8:28 PM  

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