7 Months and He is finally home

It's the official kick off or Summer. A three day weekend to relax and enjoy the sun, BBQ with friends, lay beside the pool or celebrate with friends as they get married. For many families and individuals alike it's a weekend out of town, the first trip to the beach or time to clean off the grill and enjoy hotdogs and burgers. But for others it's a weekend of remembering. A love one that's not home or a loved one they've lost.

Yet for others it's a weekend of rejoicing. Celebrating the reunion of families that after spending months apart are happily back together.

That's the story of Zach and Neidy. Zach was deployed for 7 months to Afganistan. He left his expecting wife behind to go serve our country. She braved the homefront, with a little one growing inside and before he'd come home she'd not only deliver alone but also spend the 1st three months of sleepless nights, diaper changes, feedings and trips out to get necessitates without her husband by her side. She's strong and she's the most proud wife you'll ever meet. While Zach was away he enjoyed watching his first born son grow via picture messages and the occasional email. In those 7 months they were only able to Skype once.

These two are not only a special couple because I was there to witness their love when they got married but I also got to see their excitement and joy this Fall just before Zach deployed and take some maternity pictures for them.

My dear friend, Keary is a trooper. I would have given the world to be there when Zach got home, but knowing I couln't Keary was willing to step in and document such a special evening. An evening of not only a reunion but of many firsts for this family. The first time Zach would hold his son, the first time he'd place him in his carseat, push the stroller and experience his little family of not 2 but 3.

True to life in the military nothing is concrete. The arrival times changed on an hourly basis all day long... they arrived at 9:30 expecting to see the guys by 11 but it wasn't until around 2 in the morning the busses pulled up and the soldiers came pouring out... welcomed by laughter, hugs, smiles and tears.

So this Memorial day weekend- soak up the sun and give your loved ones an extra hug... but don't forget to thank those serving, don't forget their families that are left behind while they are away and most importantly don't ever forget the families that pay the ultimate price for that extra day off you get to enjoy... those families whose family member gave it for the United States.