He wasn’t scheduled to land at MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Cherry Point until 6:30, at which point they had to unload and do admin stuff and only THEN get bussed an hour to Camp Lejeune. The official ETA was 10:15, so I planned to leave at 9. But it’s the military, so surprise!
The easiest way for me to do this is follow a direct timeline according to my texts and Facebook posts.
6:28 Owen tells me he wants daddy to pick him up from school tomorrow and “Mama, you can stay in the car.” He’s going to have such a big surprise in the morning!
6:44 Tom texted: Landed
6:44 I texted back: Woohoo
6:45 I posted to Facebook: The eagle has landed. (It was Liked by 72 people.)
8:01 Tom texted: On the move. (He sent a Glympse so I could follow his progress.)
8:19 Tom texted: I should be ready by 2130.
8:20 I texted back: 9:30?!? I need to leave earlier.
8:24 I texted my next door neighbor (who was coming to stay with the kids) asking if she could come over a bit earlier.
8:40 I pulled out of the driveway.
9:03 & 9:13 Following his progress—if I had left about 10 minutes earlier, I would have likely been following the bus on base:
9:17 I posted this picture on Facebook: So close, yet not quite.
9:21 Tom texted: At armory now.
9:21 I texted back: I’m watching. (I could still see him walking around on Glympse.)
9:26 I posted this picture on Facebook: Bags are unloaded from a separate truck first, ahead of the guys.
9:27 I posted this picture on Facebook: This is what the scene looks like.
9:37 Tom texted: We are half way done. 15 minutes. Getting back on bus. Four guys left.
9:40 I posted to Facebook: I was so excited to get out of the house that I forgot it was freezing. I have no hat, gloves, or scarf. I’m frozen.
9:43 Tom posted to Facebook: M4, M9, and NVGs turned into armory. On bus to see Jen and do the Sea Bag Drag.
9:45 I posted this picture on Facebook: Waiting while freezing my fingers off.
9:46 I posted this picture on Facebook: They’ve rearranged the bags three times now.
9:54 A friend took these pictures of our reunion. Not quite as romantic a picture as you’d probably imagined.
And of course our traditional selfie (we did them before they were a thing):
9:59 After Tom found his bags, we took this selfie with the iPhone so we could post it on Facebook: He’s home! Better pics later! (It was Liked by 127 people.)
10:04 A buddy of Tom’s helped haul all his gear to the car and then took this picture:
10:48 Maggie welcomes daddy home: