Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Welcome Home Nate!

Our good friends, the Barton's, got to welcome their husband and daddy home on Monday! We were privileged to be a part of it as we attended his "Fly-In". Nate's squadron (VAQ-135 - GO Black Ravens!) returned home after a 4-month deployment on the Aircraft Carrier USS Nimitz(which followed a 7 month deployment and only being home a few months in between). We all gathered in the Hangar on the Navy base, waiting with other family and friends to welcome them home. The energy and excitement in the hangar was crazy, along with the yellow pom-poms, American flag backdrop and lots of excited wives and children! I loved hearing Connor Barton (Levi's best friend) say over and over "My daddy's coming home, my daddy's coming home"! I think he really understood what was happening this time.

Usually they do a fly-over first, but due to either lots of air traffic or lots of clouds, they didn't do that and instead landed one at a time. The EA-6B Prowler is a jet that flies off of the aircraft carriers and is a radar-jamming plane. They go in before the F-18s in war situations and jam radars (sorry Nate, hope I got that right). They are LOUD, old and are about to be replaced by the "Growlers".

Anyway, the excitement built as the 4 planes from the squadron landed and slowly made their way off of the runway and towards the hangar. The BEST part is when they each park in a horse-shoe shape around the hangar doors and turn the engines off. This is the part where I start to get teary. I can only imagine what my friend Janelle and the other wives were feeling at that point. Then, the tops open and out climb the husbands/daddys, etc. Wow, what a moment when they run and reunite for the first time in a long time. I LOVE IT!

Thank you Barton's for including us in this amazing and special time - we were honored to be a part of it. And to my dear friend Janelle, you deserve an award for the Best Mom/Dad, Friend, Cook, Landscaper, Housekeeper, Social Coordinator, Chauffeur, House Decorator-of-the-year. You had to fill so many shoes over the last year when Nate was gone twice. I admire you - you did a better job than I would have if I were in your shoes. And you did it all with a happy heart and positive attitude (at least most of the time - never anything a little chocolate chip cookie or two couldn't fix!). You are amazing! I'm blessed to call you my friend.

Welcome Home Nate!!! We look forward to some fun times with our family's this summer - maybe some camping and Saturday night's with Bryan's homemade pizza???

Maybe this video will help you get what I'm talking about...


Elaine and Shawn said...

HI Guys!! Thanks for posting that great video! I was crying watching it! So glad Nate is home safe and sound!

B E T H said...

Great Video! Thanks so much for sharing! I'm sorry we missed it but feel like I was there now! :) Welcome home Nate!

Matt said...

I'm crying and men aren't suppossed to do that...and I'm in the Navy! Just doesn't make sense, those emotions that come out from long time friends! The Thien's LOVE the Barton's!!!

Lindsay said...

THanks for doing this. I always cry! Janelle did an awesome job and took this year in stride. Good to see pics of you again.

Janelle's friend that came out 2 years ago :)