Sunday, June 29, 2008

True patriots

The first time Seth deployed, I wrote about the Maine Troop Greeters here. I was really impressed with their commitment to our troops. Well, he flew through Maine this time, too, and was, once again, greeted by those wonderful people. Not only do they do what they can to make the troops feel appreciated and at home during their stopover, they take pictures of them and put them up on their Web site. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see these pictures of my baby boy...but maybe you can imagine..... :)

Here's his plane coming in for a landing. No, you can't see him yet..... :)

There he is.....unloading from the plane and looking a bit tired.

Still looking tired.....still not smiling.....hmmm.

Ahhhh, he looks a bit happier now after putting some food in his belly.

Now this is the smile I know.....and one a mother can wrap her heart around..... :)

There are no words that could possibly express how wonderful these Maine Troop Greeters are. The love and appreciation they show our troops as they come and go from the U.S. is absolutely incredible. They don't have to do it, they choose to.....and at all hours of the day and night. They don't just say that they support the troops, they do it.....and they are, in my book, true patriots.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

And he's gone...again

We had a wonderful long weekend with Seth and Katie and the boys, camping and floating the river...steaks cooked over an open wood fire are unbelievably incredible. We returned to Fort Hood Sunday, just early enough to get ready for a bunch of Seth's buddies to come over for a cookout. It was a "BYOB/BYOM (bring your own meat)" thing, and boy was there a variety of meat. We had fajita meat, steaks, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and even stew meat (?). Everyone was cleaning out their freezers prior to the deployment. We met so many people that I'll never be able to remember all their names, but it was great fun. Several asked to store a few things at Seth and Katie's, tough boxes, bags, etc...these were, of course, the single guys who didn't want to mess with sending stuff home and didn't want to have to pay for a storage unit to store just a few things. It's a good thing Seth and Katie have a huge basement..... :)

It was a great weekend...even though I knew it would be the last time I'd see Seth for a while. I wasn't there when he left this time...we said our goodbyes and I got "one more hug" Monday night before we headed home. But my heart and mind were there when he left. I watched the clock all day, thinking about what he was doing at that moment. 0630...the bag drop; next...back to battalian to draw weapons; then...formation and loading onto buses to be whisked away to the airport. Katie took some wonderful pictures, though, and sent some to me. So now I can look at my baby boy's smiling face any time I want to...thanks, Katie..... :) There are some other great pictures over at Katie's blog.

Well, looks like it's back to sleeping with the old cell phone again..... :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Off to say goodbye...

Seth's deployment seemed so far off once, like it would never really get here . . . but suddenly, it's right around the corner. How is that possible? How did it get here so quick? And shouldn't it be easier this time? Well, it is . . . and it isn't.

I've done this before. I know what to expect with a deployment. I know some of the tricks of the trade this time around. I know things have improved over there lately. I know he'll be in a place that's not as dangerous as some. I know he can take care of himself . . . well, mostly . . . . . :) So it should be easier this time, right? My emotions should be in check this time, right? Yeah, well, that's what I keep telling myself . . . . .

I also know that Iraq is not a good place to be no matter where you are. I know that this deployment will be longer than the last one . . . 15 months. No, the change to 12-month deployments doesn't mean anything for him, only for those deploying after August 1 . . . they will probably beat him home. I know that he's leaving a pregnant wife behind this time. I know that his son will be born while he's away. And I know that same son will be about a year old before Seth redeploys. Yeah . . . easier . . . . .

Well, anyway, we're off to say goodbye tomorrow. Seth has a 4-day weekend, his last weekend before he leaves, and we plan to spend it camping, floating the river, sitting around a campfire at night, talking, laughing, and basically just hanging out . . . the whole family. I'm really looking forward to the long weekend and the time we'll spend together . . . but I'm not looking forward to the goodbye.