After further neglect of this blog (for a very good reason, I might add), I'm ready to post a bit about the actual redeployment ceremony two weeks ago.
By the way, for those of you who might start freaking out when you first hear this term, redeployment doesn't mean that he's going back to Iraq right away (well, not for at least 12 months). The term is simply used when a unit is transferring from one site of operations to another (silly if you ask me).
I am so very grateful for the video that was captured by Rob's mom the evening of the event. Unfortunately, I have been having some difficulty uploading it to the blog. I've compressed it twice now and can't really cut any further or the whole video would be pointless. So... I guess I'll tell you a bit about the event:
M and I endured four other ceremonies prior to this one where Rob returned home. The first was back in October when the advanced party redeployed. I guess our payoff was knowing where our soldiers would enter the building to get the best seats possible. :) We opted to sit as close as possible to the door from which they would enter. Rob was texting me (his last care package from us contained his cell phone so he could use it when he arrived in the States -- so glad we did that!) with mile marker updates as to their location on I-70 while we patiently (yeah, right) waited. I was so giddy and shaky that I probably made no sense whatsoever when spoken to. When the announcement was made that the ceremony would begin in 10 minutes, I'm sure I became highly obnoxious. The 2-minute warning further increased our adrenaline. Finally, the crowd stood to applaud them as they entered to "Kryptonite" by Three Doors Down. After all the soldiers were in the building, the national anthem was played there followed by a short invocation by the chaplain and a very brief (1 min. or less) speech by BG Wiggins. Once the general said "dismissed," the crowd scattered and we waited for Rob to find us. We told him where we would be so he could find us more easily but with nearly 200 soldiers and hundreds of excited family members, it was a bit confusing and chaotic Rob wound up starting his hunt for us in the opposite direction from where we described that we would be but since we pretty much stayed in the same spot, he was able to find us after he circled around and surprised us from behind. I completely lost it and just started sobbing the moment I grabbed him. Emotions got the better of Rob as well. Tears were streaming down his face as sweet M said, "I missed you so much, Daddy." It still makes me cry and shake uncontrollably when I watch the video. :) 15 months is FAR too long! Time to go cuddle with Rob and M. :-*
--with much love and many hugs,