284 Days: A Military Homecoming

As a fellow military spouse I know first hand how hard deployments are.  Managing your family is no easy task but is made especially hard when  the other half of your team is halfway around the world.  Deployment  isn’t hard because you simply miss them and cant see them. Its hard  because the month before you have to start preparing your family for  heartbreak and the reality that they are leaving. Its hard because you  watch your kids grow and know that your spouse isn’t there to see it.   Its birthdays and holidays and every first you can imagine being  documented to ease the pain of them missing those little moments.  Its  hard because your kids don’t care that hes working, all they know in  that moment is they need their parent. But all the days they are gone  you get to think about the best day. The day you get them back.

The Wentline family waited 284 days to get their dad back.  They showed  up with fresh hair cuts and dressed in their best to welcome their dad  home from another deployment.  Aleksandr the oldest is very much the big  brother. I could see his love for his siblings and what a blessing he  was to his mom the second he stepped out of the car.  I asked how  excited everyone was and they clutched to his leg with smiles.

Military Homecoming

 We waited on the top of the airport parking garage surrounded by the  beautiful Hawaiian mountains and waited patiently for dad to make his  way to the top. I kept asking who was the most excited as they all  proclaimed they were.  

 The truth is I could see the pure happiness on Aleksandrs face. My heart  was basically bursting as he gave his mom a “we made it” hug.  I knew  exactly what he was feeling in that moment and I couldn’t have been any  more happy for them. 

Military Homecoming

 We patiently waited for what felt like forever as the elevator made  every noise possible  giving us false hope it was him. Finally it opened  and the Wentline family’s wait was over.  

In this moment I realized I was wrong. Dad was the happiest of them all, as he broke down in tears of joy.   M J and Harper couldn’t wait to show dad their signs and tell him about  how he was famous on t.v or about how they are going to have a second  Christmas now that hes home. And dad got to watch Lucy walk for the  first time in person.   And just like that their family is whole again. This is why I love  homecomings. They hit so close to home but watching a family reunite and  be filled with love and joy is the most enjoyable thing to watch. 

 284 days was well worth the wait. Welcome home! 
Military Homecoming Photography


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