Last Tuesday, my brother Richie, arrived safely home in the United States from Iraq. We were so glad to hear from him and know that his feet were safely on American soil. My mom and dad were able to go and be there when he arrived. I talked to him just a couple of hours later and he was having his first meal in the States at the Longhorn Steakhouse. He said it sure beat the freezer burned ones he had over in Iraq!
He had quite a welcome home fanfare. As he neared his hometown, he was escorted to his home by police escorts with their sirens. They had announced it on the radio station. His wife, Missy, was also interviewed for the local news. Many friends and relatives lined the highway and backroads to his house with flags and signs, waving him home. I think it was quite an overwhelming experience for him.
Then this past weekend, we were able to go to Alabama (without Colt again because of his work schedule) to see him and be there for his welcome home cookout. There were about 70 people there for the cookout held outside their home. It was a great evening for a cookout too.
The fence down the side of the driveway was full of handmade signs from kids of their church, friends and relatives.
You can see the cows eyeing me on the other side of the fence....That brings back lots of memories of playing out in the pasture near my grandma's house. I always hated when they stared at me like that! lol!
I just had to get some shots of some of these signs! I love when kids make these! I love their interpretations! Aren't they sweet?
Here's the house with all the yellow ribbons and flags. I love the flagpole in front of the house. It all looked very pretty and very welcoming!
And here's the tree and tire swing welcoming him home with the big yellow ribbon..
Richie taking it easy in the tire swing...I'm sure it felt good to be this carefree swinging in his tire swing in his own front yard. He said he really missed seeing grass (the little things you take for granted). All he saw over there for 4 1/2 months was sand and concrete!
All the chairs were set up around the back yard near the deck and were pretty much full when everyone sat down to eat.
The kids all had a good time too. Here's a few pictures of the kids doing what kids do best....having fun!
They were playing "Army" here (America against Germany she tells me!) Joy is right at home with those guys...It reminds me of Richie and I playing army when we were younger. Richie's son, Kemper, is the one with the hat on.
Here's a picture of Kemper and his dirt bike. He races them.
Joy and Laci. Laci has been sticking pretty close to her dad and not letting him out of her sight very much! She sure was glad to have her daddy home!
Here some of the kids were very intent with a video game.
Now the girls are hanging together (Cousins Joy & Sydney):
Here's some of the "big guys" hanging out in the front yard.
Meanwhile in the house, here's a picture of my Grandma. She is 90 years young!
Later that evening, my cousin, Robbie, serenaded the girls on the guitar. He was singing Lunch Lady Land. I bet you can only imagine the words to that one! Joy just loves Robbie and begged him to play that song for her again!
I realized when I got all my pictures on here that somehow I got home and didn't have a picture of my sister-in-law, Missy, and their oldest son, Trey, and his wife, Shauna. I called my mom and she had one of each on her camera. Now my mom is notorious for cutting off the tops of heads on photos! lol! But she did get most of them! :)
Here's Missy. I'm know she was tired, but very glad to have her husband home.
Here's my nephew, Trey (their oldest son) and his wife, Shauna.
And here's a picture of the old barn on their property. I love this old barn and I love to take photos there. Isn't it the coolest old barn? I bet those walls could tell some stories if they could talk!
I just want everyone to know how grateful I am for the prayers for Richie and his unit while he was gone and I thank the Lord for bringing him back home safely to his family. Please remember still all of those currently serving in our military everyday to secure our freedom. Each and every one is SOMEBODY's husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, dad or mom.
Welcome home, Richie! I love ya bro.! :)