Friday, January 22, 2010

Flashback Friday -- Dave's homecoming

There's a lot more story to the Balow Bunch that what you've been reading in this blog since 2007. Actually, there are probably only a very few people who've been reading this blog since its inception. And as a matter of fact, there aren't all that many more people reading this blog now. But I thought it'd be fun write about a story from the past every once in a while so that you get to know me and my bunch a little bit better.


February 9, 2004

One of the best days of my life was when Dave came home from Iraq. He spent a year there. A year that for me was filled with anxiety, worry and fear. Those feelings combined with the feelings that I had toward Dave were pretty overwhelming at times. So imagine my relief and excitement when the day finally arrived that Dave would be safe from war and safe in my arms once again.

My mom and I started the day by driving 13 hours to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where Dave was stationed. The weather through southern Minnesota and into Wisconsin wasn't the greatest. It was foggy and kinda snowy/icy, if I remember correctly. But I wasn't going to let a little weather stop me from getting to see Dave come home.

Several hours into the trip, Dave called from Prague. I was in Jaynesville, Wis. It was just wierd that in the amount of time it was taking to drive from Wisconsin to Kentucky, Dave was flying all the way from Europe to Kentucky.

After several more hours, we finally arrived in Clarksville, Tenn. (right next to Fort Campbell). We met Dave's parents, sisters and nephew at their hotel. FINALLY, that night it was time to go to the army base. My mom and I followed Dave's family by car. Fort Campbell was ready for the families. They had soldiers directing us where to go.

I felt like I had been waiting all year for the day (which I had been), but the wait seemed to drag on and on. We were all directed into an airport hanger with all the other families.We waited. And waited. And waited.  I remember looking around at the families. Imagined what it must have been liked to be married with children and have a deployed husband. It'd be harder than my own experience for sure, and I thought my own experience was so hard. I looked at what the other women were wearing and compared to my own outfit. It had been so hard to pick out an outfit for that day! I wanted to look good. But I didn't want to look like I was trying too hard. It was cold and I wanted to be warm enough to stand outside.

Two planes finally arrived. It seemed like the planes had been there for a while before they called for families to go out to the barricade to watch the soldiers get off the plane. But Dave's unit was on the other plane, so we had to wait some more. And more. Finally it was our turn.

We hurried outside and went up to the barricade. We had little American flags to wave. Some people had posters. We were all squished up alongside the barricade. We waited some more. No one was getting off the plane.

Then my cell phone rang.

It was a number I didn't recognize, but I answered it anyway.

"Oh, my! It's Dave!" I exclaimed. EVERYONE turned and looked at me. He said they'd be out soon and he couldn't wait to see me.

We waited some more.

Finally the plane door opens and soldiers start walking down the stairs and across the tarmac. They all walk pass us and into another hanger where they are getting into formation.We're all cheering and jumping up and down.

Finally, I spot Dave. He looks so confident walking across the tarmac with his big black pack on his back. But you should have seen his smile when he saw his family and my mom and I waving at him. It was huge!

The moment I was waiting for so long was finally happening. Soon I would be in his arms.

After he went by, we moved into the hanger. There was an army band and a soldier singing, "Proud to be an American." This whole evening was the most patriotic day I'd ever experienced. We watched the soldiers go through their formation and finally they got dismissed.

We ran down to wear Dave is standing. He hugged his nephew, Anthony, first. Then, finally, my turn.

Dave was home. I was at  home in his arms. He was safe. I was safe. We were together.



  1. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.....gave me goosebumps! I remember that day (or night rather) very well. Gosh we were there sooooooo late...that's what I remember..that I had a toddler who stayed awake almost the whole time. I guess he was excited to see Uncle Dave too :)

  2. Awwww! :D :D :D I am still so mad at Tony for taking that moment away from me (he asked me to wait to come because it was going to be a hectic night ... boo!!). :D I love love and reading your homecoming story just gave me goosebumps and my heart thumped a little harder. YAY! :D

  3. Wow! I gave both of your goosebumps! That's awesome!

    Katie -- Isn't kinda funny that you now take pictures of this day for people and we only have a couple of picturs that aren't very good?

    Brandi -- Even though you weren't at Tony's official homecoming, I'm sure you have a special moment when you first saw him after he returned home. Thanks for visiting my blog!


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