Rafe is HOME! Well, at least as "home" as we can get for now. We're staying at the BOQ on Camp Lejeune until the 20th for the debriefing/after action stuff. All three of us in an efficiency room. YIKES. But it was the only room available; 72 IA's were coming back this trip I was told - all from different teams.
I have tons of pictures and some video, but having trouble getting my laptop to find the wireless internet here. Hopefully I won't have to wait until the 20th to post them.
We drove down here Tuesday; got here around 830 pm and went to bed at 11 after hauling our gear up to the second floor (no elevators) and unpacking, eating, and showering. Amelia passed out on the bed before I could even get her to her crib. I was up again at 2 am to get ready to pick him up at 4 am.
We showed up at 4, only to be told they had not even left Cherry Point yet! Amelia and I walked around for a while, slept in the car for a little bit, walked around some more, had early morning doughnuts and slept a bit more in the car. We kept getting updates that they were "leaving soon" "On their way" ... but each time the arrival time was pushed back farther and farther - from 5 to 530 to 630.
The buses finally showed up around 7 am as I was talking to Mom with a giant roar from the crowd and people loudly cheering.
Rafe was in the first bus, facing our side, about 3 or 4 seats back. Although the windows were tinted, we could see his face up against the window and a giant grin on his face. We saw him and we were screaming and waving, watching him wave back to us. I was trying really hard not to cry so his first look at me wasn't red and blotchy! :)
Amelia was SO SO SO good waiting for Daddy. Not fussy or whiny at all. She was excited and so obedient, even with no sleep and no breakfast and the smile on her face when she was finally in her daddy's arms was worth all the lost sleep.
More later; Rafe is sleeping and I've got to go get them both up (it's 555 pm here).