A Soilder's Return

November 29, 2011
By Anonymous

It was a cool early December evening in the country of Iraq, the place that the army deployed me to a little over two years ago. I was sitting in the barracks by my self thinking about everything I had left in Chicago, IL. All I wanted was to be back with my family. I left a wife and two children, my son who was just and infant at the time and my four year old daughter. It hurt me every time I thought about it to think that my family would again, for the third time, spend Christmas without their father and husband. Just as I thought that this was impossible my commanding officer came in the barracks. I jumped out of my bed and sprung into a tall military solute. He looked at me in a way that showed he had something important to say. He said, “Soldier, for Christmas you’re going to get your wish, you’re going home.” I was speechless, I could not think of what to say. After a period of silence I replied with a simple “Yes sir Lieutenant.”

The month of December felt like longer than the whole time I was overseas. December 23rd, my departure date, finally arrived. I packed what little I had into an army green bag and got in the car that took me to the airport. When I got there I went through all the usually airport procedures, the scanning, the waiting, and in my case the anxiety. The 5 hour flight felt like it took a whole day. When I landed at O’Hare International airport in Chicago I took a taxi to a local hotel. I had mot told anyone that I would be returning home; I was going to surprise my entire family on Christmas morning.

Finally after another whole day of waiting I woke up on Christmas morning to finally go home. It was a perfect day to be going home, a beautiful Christmas morning with a fresh snow blanketing the city. Though through all of the excitement I was also nervous. Would my kids even know who I was? I put those things aside as the taxi pulled up to my house.

It still looked to same, my old car still parked in the same spot in the driveway. My heart racing, I rang the doorbell. As the door swung open I saw my wife standing there. Her big green eyes filled with tears as she ran and gave me a hug. She said, “This is the best Christmas present that I could have ever asked for, I never thought anything like this would happen.” After my wife and I talked for a few moments we walked into the living room where my two kids were opening presents. They both looked at me and at the same time and said, “Daddy.” That was all I needed to hear.

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