Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Whirlwind Week....




As is the custom for Marine Corps families...it is always a Hurry Up and Wait life when waiting for any information about Homecoming dates. And this one was NO different. Justin's 8 month deployment with the 24th MEU  turned into a 9 month tour when the three ships were turned around and sent back to the Mediterranean after they were in the Atlantic steaming towards home.

Finally, we got confirmation that Justin's Battalion would be arriving back in the states...We had 3 days to pack - get on the road - and get from Iowa to North Carolina to be there waiting for our Marine.  Semper Gumby!!! But get there...we DID!...

We only had to wait about an hour past the original arrival time...and thank goodness it wasn't raining. It seems to rain a lot in Jacksonville.



Many families were there waiting and chatting and anticipating their Marines' appearing...



This big lug came up from behind, and not from the direction the other Marines were walking in. He surprised us. :-)



WELCOME HOME CORPORAL SMITH!!



It is SO good to see ALL these guys back on homeland soil. It never stops being an indescribable experience. While we caught up and waited for the final formation, Justin wanted to get his "driving" legs back. So we jumped into the car, and he drove around and was extremely excited to go see the new gymnasium that had been built. It is a SIGHT to behold. HUGE!!! He can't wait for it to open. There is a very tall climbing wall at the back which thrilled him. Something to have fun on since he doesn't get to do much "Assault Mountain Climbing" on base. While we were chatting, a reporter came over and asked if she could ask him some questions for the evening news.

http://www.witn.com/news/headlines/First-Of-24th-MEU-Marines-Return-Home-183736271.html?fb_action_ids=10200138912814382&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

We dropped him off for formation, and waited to get him for a quick supper on base.

The next day he had to work until 4 so we picked him up and went to his choice for supper, Cracker Barrel...of course. :-)



Every once in a while I can quick catch a smile on that tough guy's face. :-)

We said our goodbyes and headed out for Charlotte to see more of our treasures we had not seen in 15 months.

My one and only girl Kat, and her special guy Sam, whom we finally got to meet. A very very nice young man.



And Jonny's sweetie Maria. She is very special too!



And something VERY special happened while we were there. Those two got engaged.



And Jonny is bringing TWO special ladies into our family. Not only will we get Maria, but we also get this little cherub too!!! We are thrilled. :-) This is my NEW little girlfriend!!



We were able to stay with my Dad and see my sister and niece, and meet Sam's parents and Maria's family. It was a non-stop week, but very much fulfilling and thrilling. We thank God for safe travels and reunions accomplished.

Poor Kam was at home in Iowa in the first blizzard of Winter 2012 and sick with the flu and Strep throat. I felt bad for my Guard guy. But he survived. :-)

We drove back into Iowa to see snow and roadside drifts and about 8-10 inches in our neighborhood.



Glad to be home. Happy to have seen our loved ones. A quiet Christmas was spent here in the nest.

WELCOME HOME TO ALL THE 24TH MEU MARINES AND SAILORS. SALUTE!! GOD BLESS YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. SEMPER FI!!

Love our Kids...



Blessings to all who pop over to visit this little journal entry on my blog today.


















7 comments:

Tete said...

Merry Christmas! So thrilled that Justin is home and that you got to go see everyone! What a fun time, and new members added, too. You are so blessed! We are under a blizzard warning, on the edge, but so far no snow. Everything went south, looks like,this morning and they have downsized our amounts now to 1-2 inches. I'll take it!

Theresa said...

Oh what a sweet Christmas for you dear friend! Not only to get your Son home and experience ALL that it feels with the homecoming BUT to see your Dad and Kat and Jonny along with their friends! Makes my heart happy! I know your heart has surely been missing all of those sweet smiles and happy hugs:) Love you my friend and hope that you get some rest and that Kam is feeling better! Heading back for the news interview:) I couldn't stop reading on the way thru!

Anonymous said...

oh dear Julie so glad to see all of the pictures and post. Thrilled for you for sure what an amazing time you had and able to visit the rest of the family is icing on the cake. Our favorite Marine just left a few hours ago headed back to Lejune, I miss him already. We are just so thrilled that we got to see him this Christmas or anytime for that matter. It was an emotional time.
Justin looks amazing and now new people being added to your little family what blessings in all of your futures. much love to you, nancy

Sandy said...

What a wonderful thing to be able to see all of your kids and family!!!I do hope Kam is better now too. Your future granddaughter is a little doll!!! Does Justin get to stay with you all for a little while or is he gone already? Glad your Christmas was so great! Ours was, too!!
Love & Hugs!

Beth said...

I'm so happy for you all! Talk about a perfect Christmas!!! Well, other than Kam being sick :-(
So glad Justin is home safely. It was good seeing your photos. I can feel your joy, Julie.
xo, Beth

Anonymous said...

I LOVE that smile on your Marine's face!!! So glad to see him back in the good old USA that he helps keep safe.
In Jesus, Paula

joyfulinhispresence said...

Oh what a week! A lot of powerful stuff going on then! So tickled to hear that you were able to meet Kat's fella, and SO happy for Jonny and his fiancee! WOW...how exciting that he waited until you guys were there to propose to her! LOVE that! And I am so thrilled that you will get to be a Nana, or Gramma to this beautiful little girl! You both are in for a treat! SO grateful you were able to be there when Justin came back! Love his smiles in all of the pictures I've seen so far! :-) xo to you dear Julie.