Monday we were able to take part in quite possibly the coolest thing we've ever experienced. My nephew has been deployed for the last seven months and we were able to be there when he came home.
We made it to the pier a few hours before the ship was set to arrive and the whole team from the sailors on the pier, to the volunteers with the Red Cross, were phenomenal. It was definitely hot outside and everyone made sure the families were hydrated and ready to welcome home their sailors. We came prepped with umbrellas and chairs (also tablets and coloring books).
What were not expecting was the ship to actually come in ahead of schedule. This was the most impressive thing I have ever witnessed. The ship coming in with the families cheering, the other ships sounding their horns and all of the sailors in their dress whites lining the ship.
We had no idea where he would be and spent a lot of time squinting. Finally he sent a text to tell us where he was and we found him.
He's in the blue coveralls with the red hat.
Now, I don't want to knock his street cred, but he did crack a smile or two.
After lots of waves we went to the McDonald's on base and killed three hours. Yes, you can in fact kill three hours in a McDonald's.
Finally we were able to go see him and we witnessed the best moment of the entire day.
These two crazy kids are getting married in September and have been apart for eight months. I'm not gonna lie, I teared up.
After the reunion we were able to go on board and check out the ship.
We saw almost everything on board and it was so cool. I cannot believe my nephew lived on that ship for seven months. I know I would not make it seven days.
I am so incredibly proud of my nephew. I am proud that he is out there making sacrifices so we can have the life we have.
Visiting him also gave me some perspective. He lived on a ship for seven months on a bed smaller than a twin and without a lot of the luxuries we have. He was excited to drink a summer shandy the other night and could not wait to take a "real shower." How often do we take those things for granted?
Thank you to my favorite sailor and all his fellow sailors. Welcome home!