Homecoming

We are five days from San Diego- our first stop mainland
Then another four to Everett

Even now, excitement builds among the crew
Anticipation of embracing loved ones

I have been on the other side of this
On the pier several times
Watching the ship come in, inching toward the dock

Being there at the water’s edge
Clowning with excited families
Wives
Children
Parents
Grand parents
Cousins
Girl-boy friends

Even some close friends and former coaches
who’ve traveled cross-country
to welcome home returning single sailors

On the deck, sailors “man the rail”
Stand should-to-shoulder at parade rest
Staring straight ahead,
(but I think dying to show some emotion)
Trying to catch a glimpse of loved ones from the corner of their eye

They see huge posters of themselves with mom and the kids,
T-shirt of the same
Big “We Love You Daddy” and “Welcome Home Joe” signs
Balloons
Kids on Grampy’s shoulders

She comes in ever so slowly
Nudged to the pier by attending tugs
Lines are thrown
The ship secured
The brow in place

A loud horn sounds
Signaling the ship is securely in
This is also a signal for jubilant release
On deck, sailors break ranks
Hats go high into the air
Cell phones ring everywhere

First, one-by-one
Newly expectant dads leave the ship
Roses in hand

They reach the brow staircase
Turn and salute Old Glory on the tower as they leave
Then run into the arms of their wives and children

Others follow

The celebration of homecoming has begun
Joyful
Amazing
Heart warming

Always an emotional sight




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