MISTRESS CARRIE'S BLOG
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The last of "My Guys" returned home from Afghanistan today!
This morning, I may as well have won the lottery. The last of My Guys were coming home from Afghanistan! I woke up at 2:15 this morning, to get ready to meet the plane at Logan. I was invited on a "Super Secret Squirrel" mission to surprise the guys before the Welcome Home ceremony in Melrose. Once the got off of the plane, they were bussed over to Terminal E for what I am sure was the best tasting Dunkin' coffee that they have ever had! The line was LONG, but well worth it!
At 6:30, it was time to get the buses on the road to reunite these guys with their families... FINALLY! With a State Police escort, the buses made it out of Logan, through the tolls and tunnel, and onto 93 North faster than anything I have ever seen! Traffic? What traffic!
The city of Melrose rolled out the red carpet for the 182. The fire department raised their ladders over Main street, and hoisted a HUGE flag for the buses to drive under. People came running out of their homes to wave at the returning heroes, and people waited patiently as the buses passed by, only honking their horns in support.
As we approached Memorial Hall, hundreds of loved ones lined the streets with banners and flags, screaming "Welcome Home and We Love You". The soldiers filed inside and got into formation so that they could be addressed by their Commander, LtCol Stewart.
After a brief greeting, and words of thanks from the command, they were released to their families. Kids ran to their Dad's. Wives and Mothers cried with happiness. Buddies hugged, and posed for photos and some soldiers even held their new babies for the first time. It was a very emotional scene. The room began to empty very quickly, as these battle tested soldiers could not wait another minute to complete the last leg of their journey home. A hot shower, a home cooked meal, and a good nap in their own beds were all on the itinerary.
It was an honor and a privilege to visit these men in Afghanistan, and it was just as much of an honor to meet their loved one's today. To put faces and names to the stories that I had heard over the many late night conversations in Kabul. These men are a testament to all that is good with America, and it's due to the amazing families that they all come from.
Thank you 182, for taking me in and protecting me while I was with you, and thank you to your families for the sacrifices that you have made during your soldiers absence. We all owe you a debt of gratitude... Something a simple "Thank You" does not feel like enough to repay.
Here are some videos from the local news crews of the scene... It was such an honor to be a part of this special day!