Friday , after Nicole and I got out of school we came home to find Chris already home from work ( a BIG surprise), and he told Nicole he had made arrangements to take her to her very first concert that evening. So within the hour they took off for Belton, which is about 2 hours away to go see the Casting Crowns ( Christian Rock band). They got home around Midnight and had had an absolute blast.
We were supposed to get up mega early Saturday morning because the 2nd through 5th grades were going to greet the troops coming home from overseas between 7 and 9 am. They gave us a number to call the night before to make sure the flight was on time. It wasn't scheduled till 230 that afternoon, then 420, then 530. Finally they were due in at 9 pm and that was final.
Off Nicole, Chris and I went to the airport, with our big Welcome Home sign, and our school shirts on. Between all the classes, they had made over 300 gift bags to hand out , along with cards and banners.
That was one experience I would LOVE to do again, and now that I have the flight info number I will . Before the men and women started coming down the ramp from customs, they made an announcement to not try to hug or reach out to the men, unless they seemed receptive. We didn't know what they had faced over there and may not want to be touched. When they started coming down the ramps some indeed just walked on by like we weren't there. It was very humbling. Then others ran down the ramp trying to high 5 everyone.
One Lady soldier came down the ramp holding her daughter, with her husband behind her carrying all her stuff, and she was singing loud and clear " The Starts at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas". Needless to say we all joined in.
Now I've been to the airport and flown since 9/11, however, I'd have to say I did get a bit freaked. Standing off to the side of the door where they were coming thorugh, was a police officer holding an assault rifle. When I pointed this out to Chris, he pointed out the other 3 discreetly placed around that area too. Wow. Guess I just wasn't ready to see that....
Anyway, I got TONS of great pictures, and if I can find our Bluetooth key to transfer them from my phone to the computer I will - they were fantastic. Our vice-principal was even there. The kids had a blast handing out the gift bags, and even if the soldiers didn't want to shake our hands, most of them made an effort to hug the kids and thank them for the gift bags. Most of the gift bags included some sort of chips, crackers, candy, and a handmade card from the kids.
Man I hope I can get the pictures off my phone!!!
Will write more later.