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…..like 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.
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.