Monday, November 13, 2006

Welcome Home

We’ve finally made it. 100%. We all came back home. It was an exhilarating feeling yesterday. We stayed up most of the night, Saturday night. We were told that we were moving out of the barracks at 0230 hours. We cleaned the barracks the night prior and put all of our linen away. We slept on the bare bunks without any linen at all but most of us didn’t mind. Some of us, like myself, ended up sleeping on the floor.

We left on the busses around 0300 hours on our way to the airport. We had to hang out in the hanger until 0700 hours for our plane to depart. So, it was a long night and most of us didn’t sleep at all. I tried to get some rest wherever I could but it was hard since we were always having a roll call or something.

We all walked out to our Southwest Airlines plane out in the rain. It was raining just as it had every day since we’ve been there. I figured the weather in Phoenix would be a beautiful 76 degrees with clear, sunny skies. I was looking forward to enjoying the nice Arizona weather. Sure enough, once we were in the air, headed south, the sky began to clear up.

Everyone on the plane began to get excited once we approached Phoenix. We came in from the north and then went east towards Scottsdale. At first I saw the Phoenix Mountains. Then I saw Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain. Then, that’s when I began to realize, that we were coming home. We were coming home and our mission was complete. We were finished. I left more then a year ago, unsure whether I’d be coming back and I was coming home now.

The plane landed at Sky Harbor Airport and taxied over to the hanger where a group of motorcycles, media, and family awaited. Flags were being hung and waived everywhere and the crowds were cheering. The plane stopped and the door opened. We began to exit and depart down the steps to the sound of revving motorcycles and marching band music. I was home. We all felt proud as we went to drop off our bags and get into formation. We would be marching into the hanger where the crowds of families awaited.

We marched our way into the hanger and the 1st Sergeant put us to attention. He called the commander, who said just a few words. He mentioned to the crowd the number of combat missions we’ve accomplished and that the unit had come home 100%. He kept it short and dismissed us. We all rushed to our families and I rushed to see mine. The sense of happiness had overwhelmed me at the beginning. I had made it back home alive and from now on, I could get on with the rest of my life.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Home!!!!!!! you and angelica better call me so we can go out as soon as you guys get settled!

11/14/2006 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Kathi said...

God bless,Pete.

11/14/2006 10:48 PM  
Blogger kbug said...

I'm so happy that you made it home finally, Sgt. Pete. I've really enjoyed reading about your deployment and having you visit my blog also. My son will be home in less than 2 weeks and we're looking forward to a homecoming as sweet as yours was. By now, I'm sure you've hugged the dickens out of your family, but give them one more squeeze for me and thank them for sharing their soldier with all of us out here. God bless you and your family.

11/15/2006 12:53 PM  
Blogger Rico said...

Welcome home, my friend.
Glad you made it safe and whole.
Settle in, do what you need to do, but know that you did what was asked of you by your country and that we're proud of you.
May you sleep well in the arms of your beloved. (And you can stop using Private Bubba as body armor now.)

11/15/2006 8:46 PM  
Blogger David M said...

Welcome Home and thank you for your service to OUR COUNTRY.

11/28/2006 10:13 AM  
Blogger Martina Jolie said...

My head reeled at the sheer and startling beauty, the wide, bare openness of it. The sense of space, the vastness of the sky above and on either side made my heart race, I would have travelled a thousand miles to see this. I had never imagined such a place.
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9/07/2012 4:58 AM  

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