My second homecoming was the homecoming that almost didn't happen. They request that family/friends be there 2 hours early. I'm sure this is because the flight could be early or late. The 1st one was about 30 minutes late and I was there 2 hours early with no problems. The 2nd one was on the day before Thanksgiving. It was a sunny, beautiful (but cold) day. As I was getting on the highway and about 40 minutes from arrival, I saw a highway sign that said the highway was closed at exit 18...I have to go to exit 1. This is not looking good...on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving, with a lot of people traveling.
I had an alternate exit in mind and got as far as exit 24 before we came to a grinding halt. Now, due to my 2 hour early window, I had plenty of time...or so I thought. An hour of sitting in traffic on the detoured route and I decided we had to find a way around or we would not make it. We were still 15+ miles away and had an hour and 20 minutes before the scheduled arrival. I still had to get to the base, stop for a pass and make my way to the shuttle area. This was not looking good.
Thank heavens for smartphones and accurate maps. After 15 minutes of winding my way through backroads, we landed back at exit 18. Either traffic was now getting through slowly or people were turning around, but there wasn't much traffic coming from the direction of where the highway was closed. We hopped on the highway and put the pedal to the metal. After all was said and done, we made it 20 minutes before the "scheduled" arrival, which ended up being 20 minutes late. Too close for comfort.
This arrival was in the dark, so unfortunately the arrival pictures are just too dark. The excitement bursting...
One of my favorite pictures...anticipation
Sometimes, there are just no words...
He's been gone 17 months...they've been married 8 months...this homecoming was a long time coming!
Welcome Home Soldiers! I have 1 more scheduled before Christmas. I am blessed to be a part of this organization.