Military Homecomings: The good, the bad, the ugly

Feb 4, 2016 by

Military Homecomings: The good, the bad, the ugly

I’ll be the first to admit that I sob like a baby over every single YouTube montage of soldiers coming home to their families. USAA commercials also make me cry. Soldiers and their dogs: you bet, so many tears. Toddlers holding red, white and blue signs about their daddy–those pull at my heart-strings hard. You cannot be a part of this life and not totally throw in the towel when those things come on the screen. Homecomings are beautiful, first hugs are magical and life looks pretty darn rosy at homecoming.

The truth though, homecomings are not the as-seen-on-TV beauty that we’ve come to expect.   | What to expect from military homecomings

The Good:

He’s home. Period. When you get that call that boots are on the ground and your heart is beating so fast that you swear it will explode and you cannot wipe that goofy grin off your face. That feeling? Well, that is amazing.

Then, there’s that moment. THE ONE. For us, our homecoming reunions are pretty mundane. I generally pull up to his team room in my car and wait until I see him walking toward me before I hop out. There is no pomp and circumstance, no huge crowds of people or banners. Just the wives of his teammates also waiting near their cars…but that first moment, when our eyes lock after months and months apart is the absolute best feeling. When we can give each other that look, the one that holds all the massive amounts of emotions that have been pent-up for so long. The look that says “I know” and “I love you” when no words have to be said at all.

We hold hands practically the whole way home and I just cannot stop staring at him as if he might, at any moment, disappear and I cannot stop smiling.

The Bad:

On the flip side, homecomings are horrible.

The nerves. I cannot be the only person that this happens to, but the supreme anxiety that builds up in the days leading up to homecoming usually leave me bedridden with a migraine. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this, I can’t be the only wife who has a mini-nervous breakdown while preparing for her spouse to come home.

It always seems like if it can go wrong– it will– in the lead up to their homecoming day.  It, of course, all starts with the ring-around-the-rosy waiting game as the date and time of their arrival inevitably changes. It’s a vicious circle. There’s the excitement, nervousness, disappointment, the waiting, the waiting some more, and the frustration of never really knowing when it will actually happen and feeling like it NEVER will. Phone calls and emails come in from your spouse, from other wives, from the FRG trying to help you nail down a time and place for pickup. The worst part? This can sometimes be pushed back for DAYS, not just hours of waiting– but days. Obviously, its wonderful to think of your honey coming home but the endless waiting game is apt to create mind-numbing craziness, and it’s ridiculously difficult to have patience when you’re in the final leg of deployment. Extremely tough.

The Ugly:

After all the waiting…

and waiting….

and waiting…

I cannot stress this one enough: ladies you could be wearing a brown paper bag to pick him up and he’s not going to notice.

I definitely have had those moments when I look in my closet and realize that I have absolutely nothing to wear, have developed a giant, red zit on the tip of my nose and I cannot find the earrings that hubby gave me for our wedding that I really wanted to wear. Those moments that almost make me cry. (You’ve been there right?)

The truth is, he's probably not going to notice the earrings anyway. #militaryhomecoming… Click To TweetHe’s going to be exhausted and my well thought out heels and perfectly shaved legs are most likely not even on his radar. (It’s hard not to get your feelings hurt by this. FYI). But it is important to note, that in the grand scheme of things none of that matters. In the end, I wore jeans and boots and a jacket, because it’s winter.  My hair was a mess, and the zit was still there. His first words? “God, you’re pretty.” And all is well.

(And I shouldn’t have shaved my legs until I heard his voice on the phone. I shaved them the morning I thought he was coming home and then the date shifted 48 hours to the right. Ugh!)


All-in-all, we are in this for the long haul, and although homecomings are hard and reintegration is an entirely different kind of crazy, when all is said and done we were together and that is all that matters.


When all is said and done we were together and that is all that matters. #homecoming #marriage… Click To Tweet

Military Homecomings: What to Expect  |




  1. Great post!

    I think of all the wardrobe choices as things we do to get ready for them to come home vs something he would really even care about. I feel like in most cases we could come in pjs and they wouldn’t care.

  2. Sally

    Great job as always, love how you can express thing so well

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Stumbleupon
Hide Buttons
This website is using the wordpress plugin.
%d bloggers like this: