Today is my birthday, and it’s made me a little reminiscent of birthdays past.
And this includes the birthday four years ago when my younger brother, Dustin, came home from Afghanistan for the first time.
He’s since done another tour with the Marines in Afghanistan, and you can read about his second homecoming, where we staged a surprise for my parents.
Both homecomings were some of my happiest days, and since his first hasn’t seen the light of blog, I wanted to share it as a birthday present to myself.
So in 2009, my mother, sister and I drove up to Indianapolis — I believe — or maybe it was Dayton. All I know is the feeling when we saw him round the bend and come toward baggage claim, where we had been waiting.
And I apologize for the grainy photos. Cell phone cameras weren’t what they are today.
Just a week or two before, my dad had suffered a heart attack.
It got pretty bad. My sister, Jessi, had all but worked it out with the Marines to send Dustin home early. It looked like my dad wasn’t going to pull through.
But — very much thankfully — he did.
And the first stop from the airport was to see my dad.
Equally wonderful was the first time Dustin saw our nieces after coming home. They were allowed to stay up late to wait for him to come home.
This was also the first time that Dustin met our nephew, Camden.
But they seemed to warm up to each other.
I’ve had some grand birthdays, where I’ve been humbled my the loved ones who came out to share it with me.
But I don’t think I will ever receive anything that can compare with this day.
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