Pfc. Holly Shaw
Family members of the Texas National Guard’s 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team came to the Fort Bliss Departure/Arrival Airfield Control Group facility Friday evening to welcome home their returning Soldiers.
With banners flying and flags waving, the anticipation of the homecoming was largely felt when the planes landed and doors where ready to open. Family members everywhere urged the flight attendant to release the passengers. Each flight was a warm and heartfelt event. Relatives, some of whom had been waiting for 16 hours, cheered to show their appreciation and respect not only for their loved ones, but for all servicemembers on board.
With so much news coverage on the wars the U.S. is fighting overseas, it’s easy to overlook the sacrifices being made on the home front. With every deployment, there is a spouse who becomes the backbone of a household, having to work through her own grief while comforting her children.
There will be a wife that gives birth without the presence of her husband; an infant will take his first step; and there will be first touchdowns and graduations. While there is a sense of pride in knowing a loved one is deployed overseas, the void of their absence will be greatly felt.
From the mother who constantly worries about her deployed child to the child who spends a year without a parent, the reunions that took place Friday between family members and Soldiers were emotional events that remind one that not only do servicemembers make sacrifices, but so do family members.