Time seemed to go by awfully fast during our R&R, we tried to just focus on us as a family and not think about the stress that we had to deal with while separated. It was nice just to be a family again. We kept telling ourselves that when he went back it would only be for about six weeks and then he would be home. We just did 10 months, we could handle six weeks!
When we dropped him off at the airport you would have thought we were sending him off for another year...we were just an emotional mess.The next six weeks were horrid, they tacked on extra time for Kevin by putting him on a detail. He no longer worked with the trifling LT but he was done with this unit. So was I. While he spent time struggling over there with the Soldiers in his unit, I was back here struggling with the families and Rear D. We both tried our best, but the countdown was not going fast enough. Kevin did have some good things going, he was working in an area now where he felt he could make a difference. But it was too late, he was ready to be done and come home. And I was ready to have him home.
As his time came nearer to be home, it became harder for me. I did the best I could to support the Soldiers and their families. I still love taking care of Soldiers, this experience would not change that. The boys and I helped prepare the barracks for the single Soldiers and I attended 11 homecomings before Kevin came home. Each one became harder and harder to attend. Especially when his entire command team came home and he was still hanging out in Kuwait. We were also praying that Kevin would make it home in time for our youngest son's birthday. Kevin had never been home ON Daniel's birthday. Ever. All Daniel wanted for his birthday was his dad, that's it. I prayed and prayed that his wish would come true. It did, Kevin made it home 2 days before his birthday.
My love was home...it was time to start the next chapter in our lives. We were on orders to Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Many don't understand that we need this break, we need the slower pace to process the last 5 years of our lives. We need to regroup as a family and work through things we have set aside. We have done all that the Army has asked of us and we asked the Army for some reprieve. That is what we pray for as we go through our time here.
We are grateful for our time at Fort Hood, we are grateful for the experiences. While we endured much hardship, we also obtained a lot of growth. There are things I wish I had the power to change and other things I wouldn't change for the world. We are a faith based family. We know the Lord's hand is in all things. We know we were placed at Fort Hood for the very experiences we had.
Yes, there were times when we were broken down, but we always came back...even stronger. One thing we learned for sure is that we can handle whatever the Army and life throws at us...we are a family..an Army family, we only get stronger with time and experience.