If there is one thing the family of a returning service member knows it's this: when it comes to homecoming, stuff changes.
The hot second you have your dress and shoes picked out and the vacuum tracks laid into the carpet, the flight time or date will change, and that's that.
But imagine if your spouses wasn't just delayed a few days. Imagine if he was delayed 45 days.
That's the kind of thing officials with the U.S. Transportation Command (TransCom) were predicting recently when a travel crunch combined with a flight shortage resulted in some sudden, severe return delays. For about a week most passengers flying out of Afghanistan were suddenly postponed, and it didn't look like things were about to get better.
Now TransCom officials said they have been able to drum up flights by rearranging schedules and flying troops out on C-17s instead of comercial carriers. Almost all troops out of Northern Afghanistan are now returning by their foretasted date, while some Arimen in Southern Afghanistan are still experiencing a lag.
"Our word around here is that our goal is to make the forecast be completely untrue," Air Force Lt. Col. Brad Hall, chief of TransCom's Centcom Branch told me. "We still recognize that it was a hardship on those families ... for them right now in the upcoming future we are showing that they are all on time."
Photos by Military.com.