Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Welcome Home Celebration

Thank you just didn't seem like enough so we had a good ole fashioned Texas Welcome Home party for Chris...barbeque, beer and good friends. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed our time with Chris.

My Dad loves to hear stories about Chris' deployment and had mentioned to me earlier in the week that he really hoped that Chris would share some of his experiences at the party. Well, Paw Paw's hope came true. It was so interesting for Chris to elaborate on his job, his accomplishments and what he went through the past fourteen months.

He shared that going back from R&R after just being married for only 10 days was a extremely difficult and that it took him several weeks to overcome it emotionally. One thing he made perfectly clear...they made a difference! He enjoyed his job and Iraq was a little better because of the guys of the 3ID.

Proud Mom!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Toast To Home

A toast to home!

Last Wednesday night when the doorbell rang at 10:20 PM, it was the first time in 14 months that I didn't panic because it was late and someone was at my door. It was a pleasant surprise! Chris was home!

Right before Chris deployed, Joey purchased a bottle of Crown Royal XR with the understanding that when Chris returned home safely, they would drink it. The dream became a reality! Crown Royal is something that the two of them enjoy immensely and XR was definitely something to commenerate such a special occassion.

It is so nice to have Chris back. He seems to be enjoying all the simple things in, food, air conditioning, clean smelling air, good drivers on the streets, free time and the ability to relax and not worry about what's going to happen next. We are enjoying being able to not panic when the doorbell rings, sleeping at night knowing everyone is safe, picking up the phone and just saying hello, visiting, getting hugs, and just seeing Chris safe and sound!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Last of 3rd Brigade Soldiers Home

Last of 3rd Brigade soldiers home
Fort Benning welcomes back last 67 soldiers from Iraq deployment


They're all home... finally.

The last group of 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team soldiers, who had stayed behind in Kuwait to ensure the safe return of all the brigade's equipment, arrived at Fort Benning's Lawson Army Airfield Monday afternoon, signaling the end of the unit's third deployment to Iraq since 2003.

No Army brigade has spent more time in Iraq than the 3rd's 41 months.

The homecoming for the 67 soldiers lacked the pizzazz, but certainly not the emotion, of previous arrivals.

When the chartered aircraft carrying the troops arrived about 30 minutes earlier than expected, just a handful of family members and friends waited for them in Freedom Hall, the airport's spacious terminal.

"We can't wait to see him," said William Morgan of Indianola, Wash., who with his wife, Cynthia, awaited the arrival of their son, Capt. Bryan Morgan.

Indianola, a town on Kipsak Peninsula in Puget Sound, west of Seattle, is more than 2,200 miles from Fort Benning.

"It did take us a while to get here," said a laughing Morgan, a Vietnam vet and a retired Department of Defense electrical engineer. "We were pulling a trailer."

So when did the couple start their trip?

"On May 1," they both laughed.

"I told you it took us a while. But we weren't going to miss this," William Morgan added.

Actually, with the brigade leadership team -- commander Col. Wayne Grigsby, deputy commander Lt. Col. Ryan Kuhn and battalion commanders Lt. Col. Jack Marr and Lt. Col. Troy Perry -- on hand, the in-processing procedure was expedited.

The plane landed at 3:50 p.m. and soldiers were reunited with families at 4:35 p.m. Normally, that process takes a full two hours.

"We were in Kuwait about a week," said Capt. Morgan after the reunification with his dad and mom. "That wasn't bad. Except for the fact we were also the first to go over (in March 2007)."

Morgan's parents have been getting their son's house cleaned up and have made sure his truck's in running order.

"And we have a huge root beer float waiting for him," his mother said. "That's the one thing he said he wanted."

They were going to have their first meal together since last fall. "We're headed to Buffalo Wild Wings," said the captain, a member of the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, who spent the last several months attached to the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division.

The latest, and last, group to arrive will be granted a 48-hour pass before starting 10 half-days of reintegration training. Then they'll be off on a block leave of 30 days.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Last, But Certainly Not Least!

Exactly fifteen months, to the day, Nick James finally returns home. As part of the "No Joke" party, Nick had been in Kuwait since mid April. At first it wasn't too bad but at the end, it was a little hard to deal with the fact that almost EVERYBODY else was already home. I think Nick was starting to wonder if he was becoming a permanent citizen of Kuwait!

It was absolutely an awesome feeling when my phone rang yesterday afternoon and when I answered it I heard "Hey Mom..." Our "adopted" son had returned! Our journey has officially ended! Nick called later on in the evening and was definitely enjoying all the luxaries of the USA which included a nice juicy steak at Outback. He was on top of the world! Now that Chris and Nick are both back, Outback should show a drastic rise in income!

I know the James family is enjoying their time with Nick and as we all did, doing a lot of staring. It's not a dream, Bernadette...he's finally home! Welcome Home, Nick!

Military Appreciation

The Pentagon Channel's own MSgt Rusty Barfield sits down with Tiger Woods to discuss his upcoming tournament and his Army veteran dad, Earl Woods, who served two combat tours in Vietnam.