Finally, the moment has come. You walk into the gym arena, hoping to find the perfect spot. You want to be as close as possible but in view of the doorway. Each time the door opens, your heart flutters for a moment. When the homecoming ceremony finally starts, with so many emotions in tow, it hits you: This is what you’ve been waiting an entire deployment for. It’s hard to sit through the ceremony without frantically busting out a new sprinting record worthy of the Olympics.
When my husband came home from an Iraq deployment, I can remember feeling like a pre-teen at a Jonas Brothers concert in the front row almost able to lay a hand on them. My existence was once again complete the minute I was able to embrace him.
I never wanted to let go. I even thought that if the government tried to take him again I would handcuff myself to him. But then I would probably be arrested for abducting a hostage that happened to be government property. I guess a training exercise here and there wouldn’t kill me.
I loved how I felt the next few weeks after he came home. I even loved how he always let me pick up his dishes and do his laundry. My husband had no flaws and if he did, I could not think of any. I loved those honeymoon feelings. I indulged in them. Why didn’t you tell me to grab those honeymoon feelings while they lasted?
Because, of course, those homecoming honeymoon feelings don’t last forever. They can’t. Eventually I got tired of cleaning up. I had also become very accustomed to living by myself and found it hard to reintegrate living together.
Yet the time after your loved one comes back from deployment safe and sound truly makes you appreciate when he is here. Yesterday, I was honored to have documented a homecoming in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Seeing all these spouses waiting for their husbands and wives truly brought me back to that feeling. I wish I could have a daily reminder of that time. When I got home, I took a few moments to really look at my husband and savor the fact that he is home, safe, and never going to take out the trash…
Samantha Brinton is an Army wife of three years. Stationed overseas in Rose Barracks, Germany, Samantha experiences a different side to Army life. Volunteering as an executive board member of the Vilseck Community and Spouse’s Club, working a full time job and freelancing as a photojournalist can be a puzzle she must constantly be working at. Samantha has been featured in the Grafenwoehr local news paper, The Bavarian News.
PHOTO CREDIT: Samantha Brinton