Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411

One From The Bucket List

I don’t have a bucket list, at least not one that I’ve written down.

I have things in my mind that I’d like to do before I die, mostly things that require a bit of money… visit Ireland and Venice, take a cruise to Alaska, leave a hard-working waitress a really BIG tip, welcome a soldier home.

Today I mentally crossed the last one off my list.  My sister, ‘S’ and I drove up to the Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, to welcome our nephew home from Afghanistan.


The 368th left for Afghanistan with 170 members, today they returned with 170 members. 

It was an amazing experience, to be there with so many other families, watching and waiting for a glimpse of their loved ones.  The National Anthem was sung, the Governor of New Hampshire welcomed them home, thanking them for their service. A Congresswoman and then a number of other representatives for other politicians spoke, and military personnel spoke and then they asked the battalion to rise and face their families and friends.

Eyes and necks strained as members of battalion searched the crowd for their loved ones.  Arms waving and huge smiles as eyes sought and found the faces of those they loved.  They were ordered to turn around and sit back down.

The commander entrusted with the lives of those 170 men and women then told us of all the things they had accomplished on their missions and we all listened and waited.  Waited for the words. And finally he said them.


Then the chaos ensued as everyone searched and tried to reach their loved ones as quickly as possible.  I waited a couple of minutes, so he could savor his first moments with his son and then his parents.

I thanked a couple of soldiers as I made my way forward and suddenly he was in front of me.

“There you are” he said and then he was in my arms. And the worry of the last year melted away as if it had never existed at all.

Welcome home baby, I love you so much and am so proud of all you’ve done and I thank you for your service to your country.

Ladies and gentlemen, SSG Stevenson and his very proud aunt.




Comments on: "One From The Bucket List" (41)

  1. Awesome, Jodi, just awesome!

  2. Thank you and welcome home indeed! It is wonderful that you were able to be there!

  3. Wonderful post Jodi!

    Welcome home 368th!! Thank you for serving our country!

  4. What a wonderful experience. Welcome home.

  5. What a great day, and what a welcome home for your nephew! Fantastic!

  6. Yup – I cried reading this.
    So glad he’s home, safe. 🙂

  7. Wow, brought tears to myeyes and left a lump in my throat. im sooooo glad he made it back safely. Thanks for sharing this wonderful moment with all of us.

  8. I wish I could have been there! I can’t wait to see him – he looks great!

  9. Sounds like a beautiful day. 🙂

  10. So glad he made it home safely! You must all be so joyful to be reunited.

  11. […] One From The Bucket List – Author’s Note […]

  12. Wow – that must have felt wonderful!!

  13. Great news Jodi. I have broadcast your post on the BBC (Bassa’s Blogging Channel).

  14. I love this post! You are very brave. Not just SSG Stevenson, but you and all of your family! I had to be brave once, when I saw a balloon outside our apartment. It was almost as scary as the time I saw a soccer player (These are 2 of my biggest fears – but that’s a long story…) Welcome home, SSG Stevenson. Thank you for your service.

    Love & licks & more licks,

    • Thank you Cupcake, I didn’t feel brave but I think our service men and women are!

      I’m sorry that the balloon and soccer player scared you, I will be checking your blog out to see if I can find those stories. 🙂

      Thank you for commenting.

  15. Great Post!
    God Bless your nephew and we thank him and all the others for their service to our country!!! Thank you to the wonderful families like yours who make the sacrifice in time, loneliness, and more.
    We are so glad he made it home safely! Hurrah!
    We found your blog through Bassa’s BBC post.. 🙂

    Again Thank You All!

    The Collies and Chuck 🙂

    • Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it and will pass it along to him. I think the loneliness and being away from my family and friends would be the hardest for me.

      Thank you for coming by, I appreciate the support!

  16. WELCOME HOME! Thank your nephew for his service, We pray for the day that all people will be free and safe in their lands. We is sooooo greatly appreciated. – DogDaz

    • I agree, it would be nice if everyone were free and safe and people didn’t have to die trying to achieve that.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  17. i’m so jealous of his multicam. it looks much better on him than the crackerjacks lol 😉

  18. I read the post on Thursday, but didn’t have a chance to comment until now. I got tears in my eyes, I am so happy that your nephew and the entire 368th got home safely. As a Canadian, I salute them in their role to help keep all of us safe.

  19. So wonderful to have your nephew back home. Tell him thanks for his service. My person got teary eyed reading this. We found it on Bassa’s BBC.

  20. […] I was very emotional when I wrote it and thought it came out quite nice.  The other one was One From The Bucket List, which was a tribute to my nephew upon his return from […]

  21. Congratulations Jodi and family, how wonderful! And thank you SSG Stevenson for your service, I am greatly appreciative!

  22. […] in obedience class after having missed it for about a month, for whatever reasons health, weather, a soldier returning home   it had been a long time since we’d gone to […]

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