Got My Red Ruby Slippers On
o No definite dates as of yet
o The units will not redeploy as pure units. There will be a mixture on each plane when they return; therefore, the entire company will probably not be coming back as one group.
o Once they leave Iraq, they will spend [time] in Kuwait and then will be on their way home. We will know 12-24 hours before they get to Fort _______ who will be on the plane. As soon as Rear D [Rear Detachment] knows, we will notify the respective families.
o Reception will be at ______ Army Airfield.
o POVs [personal owned vehicles] will not be released until 24 hours after they have been on the ground.
o A 48 hour pass will be given to each soldier upon arrival. (this is regardless of [whether it's a] weekend)
o There is a Re-Integration Briefing... at the... Chapel. Redeployment info will be given so please try to attend one of the sessions.
o We have not been given an official day to stop mailing items, but CPT L. recommends not mailing anything after ____.
As I was packing Christmas decorations and baking dozens of cookies and cakes, and wrapping the small Christmas gifts for our Guys, I noticed that my "stuff for our Guys shelf" in our pantry was rather bare and that we were running low on boxes and labels and customs forms -- but I don't much care at the moment... I'm not going to need that many before the Guys come home -- and the smile on my face could not have been any broader!
I know that our son and the other soldiers that have been wounded and have returned home are anxiously waiting to greet the planes carrying their buddies. And while I have become attached to a large number of Guys in Noah's unit, I'm particularly close to three Guys who are all single (ok, one is in the process of a divorce) and all of whose families live far away. Which means that, like the day they deployed when I was the only "family" the Guys had to see them off, none of these three will have family to greet them after this year long deployment. I feel badly about that and am toying with the idea of going just to be there when they land. But frankly, 12-24 hours isn't a lot of notice to get from here to there, plus the frequent flier account is dry (a trip to Noah's base after his wounding and a trip for Noah to see his brothers and friends tapped the miles out.) On the other hand, it would be really cool to have been there when they left AND when they returned... and after posting about the river I cried when they left, I would love to be able to do a post about HAPPY hugs and HAPPY tears...
Of course, I'm still catching my breath every time I hear, "soldiers were killed today in two separate incidents in Iraq..." (down turn in the roller coaster ride) I will continue to worry and fret until every one of these Guys is home. Home. Home. How good does that sound??
I can already hear the clicking heels of red ruby boots all over the 3ID... no place like home... no place like home...
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