I recorded last Sunday's Army Wives and hadn't watched it until tonight. I then went back and read SemperFi Wife's summary and the comments. One teeny tiny thing from the episode really struck me though, something almost unremarkable. Something that didn't make it into the post or the comments. It was during the Welcome Home ceremony when the two soldiers had no family to run to.
The last time my husband deployed, he was one of the last people from the brigade to come home, a full three weeks after the majority of our post returned. His best friend was single at the time and had left his vehicle at our house so he didn't have to store it for the year. I had to be at his Welcome Home ceremony to give him his keys back, and I was happy to see a friend after so long.
Thus I ended up in the crowd with no husband to welcome, and he ended up in the formation with no family to pick him up.
After all the excited families went tearing across the gym, I made my way to the back of the crowd, where a small group of soldiers had gathered. These were the single guys, and since we were all stationed in Germany, they had no parents or girlfriends to shriek and hug them. And honestly, all they really wanted to do was get going, get back to the barracks, grab a beer, and relax. But I was there, a lone wife to give them someone to smile with, and a little hug to make it feel slightly more welcoming.
I really didn't feel so great about having to attend a Welcome Home ceremony while my husband still was in sector and still had weeks to go. I thought it would be painful and bitter. But it really was a nice experience for me, to be able to shake all their hands and welcome them home after so long.
If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend it.