June 2011: This month was full of lots of fun things the most important being Obi-Wan's 4 day pass. (Yes, GI Joe has had a name change, more about that in a moment.) I drove down to MS with another wife from the unit...we bonded to say the least, thanks to a broken air compressor for the AC and 'aliens in the cornfields.'
This is my partner in crime & battle buddy: "The Mrs." as we begun our trip to see our men. What a fun drive we had yelling at each other, laughing, drinking energy drinks and being postively giddy to be with the love of our life's. I would like to say we went through some beautiful country, but to be honest, I'm not sure, we drove through the night. However, I can say a beautiful friendship was born that night. These past few months would have been unbearable without her & the other wonderful women God has blessed me with.
Upon arriving on post, where we thought we'd catch a nap in the car until the guys were dismissed, we found out they would be let out early...so much for a nap, but the trade off was well worth it. We immediately left for Biloxi/Gulf Port.
Our motel was a block away from the beach. That evening we walked down there. Other than the wind, it was nice, not a lot of humidity like there was further north on Post, but warm enough to be comfortable in shorts.
One of the evenings there we met "The Mr. & Mrs." at their hotel, where they were staying with his parents who had come down to visit also. Dinner by the pool, followed by some good natured frolicking.
Another day, we took a boat ride out to 'Ship Island.' (*note to self* spray on suntan lotion, even sport/waterproof type doesn't work worth a hoot). We were on the Island from 10am until about 4pm. Even with several applications of sunblock we ended up burned, some of us worse than the other...nothing is worse than spending one of your few precious days before your husband leaves for months with 2nd degree burns that negate any type of touch, no matter how innocent!
We still had fun. The boat ride was about 50 minute and we saw some dolphins on the way over. Once there we were privy to pristine white beaches for the most part, there was some evidence of the oil spill. I am not sure exactly how close we were to actual spill site, if it was close they did an awesome job of cleaning it up. We collected some shells, teased "The Mrs." about never being in the ocean before, exasperating her & freaking her out when "The Mr." would dive underwater and swim up behind her to grab her. Ofcourse the schools of fish that would swim right up to and around you or the 'jumping fish' did not help either.
Our last night, our men had to report back by midnight. We were able to go to one last dinner and pretend for just a little while longer we were just normal couples hanging out on vacation together.
It was hard to say good-bye that night...letting him go was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I know I had done it before but this time was different...I could not have done it without the strength of God. Bittersweet, my heart was swelling with pride even as it was breaking. For my husband, our children, our friends...all the families that have had to say 'good-bye' to their loved ones.
The next morning, in the harsh reality of day light, "The Mrs." and I were facing the long trip home. Her mother-in-law came to the rescue & gave us a gift and told us to stop and do something fun on the way home. We were returning via Memphis and where MUST you stop if in Memphis? Graceland ofcourse. Because this post has been long I will continue in another.