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Army Wife Courtney Y's Welcome Home U.S. Army Style

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AWC > Welcome Home > Courtney Y's Welcome Home U.S. Army Style

I dont even know where to begin on this, talk about a roller coaster ride!

My husbands homecoming date was June 6th at 23:20(11:20pm).  I counted down the days, hours, minutes and seconds for about a MONTH!  On Wednesday the 5th, my husband was headed for the airport at Osan Airbase in South Korea.    I was on edge, full of butterflies and incredibly nervous!  I didn't sleep that night because my husband was 14 hrs ahead and I wanted to make sure that everything went smoothly.  I don't know what difference it makes, it was all out of my control anyway! He arrived at Osan airbase where his flight was SUPPOSED to leave at 09:30 local time, which is about 20:30(8:30pm) my time.


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I woke up around 2am, in a panic, searching the bed for my phone.  As soon as I saw the test message, I just broke down. His flight had been cancelled.  I tried to convince myself to go to sleep, but I knew I couldn't.  The next day, my husband let me know that the flight was scheduled to leave around 09:30 the next morning.  They gave him a voucher for a hotel room and dinner and now we just prepare for it to start all over.

The next evening around 19:30, I was on Facebook checking it out, and I saw it.  His flight had been CANCELLED again! 2 days in a row! I lost it, right there on a the kitchen floor! I was furious because I had been patiently waiting for this day for a YEAR and now, I had to wait, and wait.  Now for those of you who have been here before, you know how emotional this is.  It is like a kick in the face from a horse! You prepare and prepare for this special moment and then have it ripped away from you, its very emotional.  Its a HUGE letdown.

I had worked all the week before to make sure this moment was PERFECT! I hired a photographer, had banners made, bought balloons for the special night, my outfit, hair and nails, you name it!  My hair was now flat, my balloons were loosing air, and Iwas completely deflated.  Once we found out that my husband second flight was cancelled and that there was no flight going out for 2 more days we started discussing getting him home.  Back in Osan, at the Air Force base, they wouldn't provide another plane to make the trip, and the travel office said that in order for them to get a Civilian plane ticket, an O-6 would have to sign off on it, and it was Friday morning.  That just wasn't happening.  Emotionally I could not take anymore.  I hadn't slept in 3 nights, I just wanted my husband back!  So we decided that instead of waiting for the military to figure out what they were going to do, that we were going to just buy the ticket.

I got on the internet and searched for a flight, that would get him home as soon as possible.  It was 07:30 in Korea and 20:30 in the NC.  I purchased a same day ticket, and my husband got on a bus, took the 2 hr drive and finally was at Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea.  His flight left at 16:30 local time which is 03:30 here in NC.  Of COURSE i couldn't sleep that night because I thought that if it could go wrong, it would. I stayed "awake" until my husband boarded the plane and I knew he was in the air.  I was so relieved that he was on his way home, back to the United States.  He would be home on the 7th at 23:50.

The next obstacle that I faced was Tropical Storm Andrea.  She was making her way up the coast and I was terrified that now she would ruin my welcome home.  I said so many prayers that day. By the grace of god, my husbands flight landed in Dallas/Fort Worth ahead of schedule.  Now I just worried that his flight from Dallas was going to be delayed or cancelled.  The ticket that we had to purchase flew my husband into Raleigh International Airport, which is about an hour and a half drive from our home in Fayetteville.

Photo courtesy of Stella Reynoso Photography.
There were so many things about our homecoming that got screwed up, but thankfully, there was one thing that was always there.  I hired a homecoming photographer to capture this moment for my family because during his first deployment, we have no pictures from his homecoming.  This is something special because it was the first for our daughter.  I was referred to Stella Reynoso by my Facebook page (Real Life Army Wives).  Every time there was a cancellation, she assured me that no matter when she'd be there! Then when the flight changed, she offered to ride along with us, so that she could still be there for us.  We got to the airport about an hour early, around 22:30 and my husbands flight wasn't scheduled to come in until around 23:50.  We went up to the USO and hung out for a while to kill sometime and get a snack.  I felt like I was going to get sick, I couldn't even stomach some water.  The time finally came and we went back downstairs and we waited those last dreaded 10 minutes and then he text me and said that he had landed and would be making his way to where we were.  That 5 minute period felt like an eternity.  Then he was there, my family was whole again! I felt so happy, relieved, and anything that I felt during the entire year he was gone, was now GONE!  He arrived, better late than never, in typical US Military fashion! HURRY UP AND WAIT!!!

Stay tuned for my piece on Stella Reynoso Photography and a preview of my WONDERFUL photos she took for our homecoming!

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