Sunday, December 4, 2011

Clicking Our Heels to Bring Him Back to Kansas

Finally.......our soldier is home!  Any of you who have been reading my blog might have noticed that I fell into a huge slump these past months.  It wasn't a slump - it was a repurpose for my life - to be there everyday for my daughter and granddaughter as Travis fought for us in Afghanistan. 

America is still at war.  A Fort Riley soldier was killed the day before Veteran's Day.  Please move the closing out of these wars to the top of your agenda, no matter where you are or what kind of work you do!  Our combat soldiers are living with a bottle of water and 100 lbs of body armor while we are at the mall.  Read KaBoom by Matt Gallagher.  Do something to understand more about what America is doing TODAY that is changing the lives of our next generation of leaders.    If you aren't part of the 1% that is fighting this war, you are part of the 99% that are sitting on their shoulders. 

I do have happy photos to share of our soldier finishing up this deployment.  

......  "lots of kids have daddies who are soldiers"  (her observation to me a few days later)

Her sign......she's looking at her "dots and lines", but Granny (Greatgrandma) is asking to see it.

Delayed only one hour - which is fantastic in military time!  "I can find my daddy.  He's wearing his uniform."  Two little ones following soldiers in uniform who are working the ceremony while we wait. 

Taking off his hat so she will recognize him.  He held his leave time until the very latest he could take it - so when he had to leave them again it would only be for a very short time to finish the deployment.  So she had just seen him about six weeks prior. 

He's talking to her about her flag.  She carries it with her most all of the time - "to wave for Daddy."

Finally, he is getting close to being able to hug her.  I don't know how he keeps from just scooping her up, except he knows it scares her so he waits until she's ready. 

The awkward "must" kiss in front of family and friends.  My daughter has pointed out that even though we all love to see this, its awkward.  She hasn't seen him in (this time six weeks, usually its been six months).  He smells like the desert, or the plane, or weapons and duffle bags and different soaps.  Everyone is expecting something fantastic for their photo album.  And she would rather have a private first kiss.  I'd like to add that I am always amazed that he smells so good after spending two weeks living in a tent with 200 guys and then traveling 4 days on a plane.  How does he do that? 

And this last photo of our day....... 

"Not this time......soon."  J's Daddy won't be home for another month or more.  His platoon just lost a soldier.  He only gets to call/email home once every few weeks because he is a very remote location.  He's on his 4th deployment, home a year - gone a year - over and over throughout their marriage.  He works in the worst of places because he's trained in combat.  They wait.  Americans can change this, we can do better. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, this is where the new header comes from. I love the contrast between the size of the flag and the tininess of the grand-daughter. His sensitivity to her being ready for a hug is wonderful to read about.

I often wonder if civilians were called upon to sacrifice, as they were in WW2 if our wars would not be shorter.