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.
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.
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