Saturday, November 15, 2008

He's Home!!!!

PFC Michael W. Huffman arrived safe and sound at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky about 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 13. We were blessed to be able to attend the welcome home ceremony and see him off the plane.

While we waited for the plane to arrive, families hung out in the hangar. They had cookies and drinks, and a playroom for the younger kids. It was very nice, even though we were all very anxious. Every fifteen minutes or so they would give an update on the plane's estimated arrival time.

Banner for Michael's brigade

When the plane was about fifteen minutes out, we were able to go outside and watch for it. That was a long fifteen minutes. Eleanor perched on her Dad's shoulders for a better view.

I tried to take a picture of the plane when we first were able to catch a glimpse of it, but my camera couldn't focus on it. I can tell you that once it was spotted, the cheer from the crowd could probably be heard all the way back here. I knew I would be emotional during this all, but I was unprepared for how the sight of that glint in the sky would bring my heart into my throat.

Finally on the ground!

You can see in this picture how many little ones were there, waiting for their daddies to get off that plane. Some were so small, I am sure this was the first time they were seeing each other. Every time I thought about that, I cried, too.

I was pretty weepy the whole time.

Now Elijah takes a turn on Dan's shoulders to watch the soldiers file off the plane.

It was harder to pick Michael out of the procession than I thought it might be. All those buzzed heads under helmets look a lot alike. Plus, he's a might bit thinner than the last time we saw him. Once he got right in front of us we thought we recognized him and shouted his name. When we saw that smirky smile cross his face, we knew we had the right soldier.

After all the soldiers were off the plane and dropped their gear, they got into formation behind the hanger. We all went back inside and sat in the bleachers. Then these huge doors opened and they marched in to music and cheers. I still get chills remembering it.

Heroes returning from war.

After a short ceremony, we got to spend about fifteen minutes hugging on him.
If the fifteen minutes waiting for the plane were long, then this was the shortest fifteen minutes ever.

I'm aggravated that I didn't take more pictures, but I guess I was so caught up in the moment that it kind of slipped my mind. It's just as well that we didn't get a family picture since I was a mess by this time!
Thank you so much to everyone who prayed for Michael while he was deployed, and I ask that you continue to pray for him as he readjusts to life in the states and prepares for his next great adventure...a wedding in April!
Michael, we are so grateful that you are home and so proud of all you have done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mom!
Just a test to see if Grandma can leave a comment. See you when we get back!P.S. Tell my bugbug I said Hi.