Saturday, March 3, 2012

Welcome Home, Sailor Boy!

The USS John C Stennis returned home yesterday after 7+ months on deployment. They were in the Strait of Hormuz when Iran threatened to shut it down. They flew the last missions into Iraq and they rescued Iraqi fishermen from pirates who had boarded their vessel. Needless to say, they had a very active deployment period.

I was not able to fly to WA to experience the homecoming this time, but Navy News did a live video feed so those of us "out of towners" could feel like we were there. I got special permission at work to pop in and out of the live video stream (because of bandwidth issues at my work) so that I could hopefully see Shaun. It wouldn't have been even remotely possible to see him if Jenny hadn't won one of the "first hug" raffles that the Family Readiness Support Group holds. During the whole deployment, they did raffle tickets for attending meetings, buying tickets, guessing how many pieces of candy were in a jar, etc. There are several thousand sailors stationed on board the Stennis and Jenny won one of only FIVE "first hug" tickets!

She got preferential parking (good thing with three little ones and being 8 months pregnant) and got to wait inside one of the special tents set up (they also had one for the new babies). The "first kiss" and "first hug" winners would be the first ones to get off the ship. Even though the weather wasn't supposed to be too great, Jenny decided to go ahead and take the kids because she'd have these extra perks.

I told Ron about the link and he was able to watch from home. While he was watching, he took "videos" of the video stream. In this first one, Shaun is the tall guy with his left shoulder toward the camera and he's holding a rose for Jenny in his left hand. As you see him looking down at something in his right hand, I'm texting him and he's replying. He waves at the camera with his rose. The picture isn't great but not too shabby considering it was taken with Ron's phone.

In this video, Shaun appears at 1:15 and he's down on his knees with Katy and Alexander. You'll see Jenny with Zachary just briefly before the camera moves on. I was so glad to get to be able to see this. It warmed my heart so much - the next best thing to being there!

You might want to expand the video a bit so you can see it easier.


joanne said...

awesome! Thank him for doing such a great job and please let them all know that their sacrifice is most heart-felt. Congratulations and Welcome Home.

Mynx said...

such a wonderful post. Good to see him home safely back to his family

Bouncin Barb said...

What a great gift for you to be able to see it since you couldn't make it there. I'm so happy for you and Ron and especially happy that he's home safe with his family. Great news! Hugs and love Teresa!

SkippyMom said...
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labbie1 said...

Terrific! I'm so glad he is safely back home and in time for the birth! Yay!

Jo-Anne's Rambling said...

I am happy to hear that he is back home safe and sound.

orchid said...

Dearest Teresa,
Wonderful Post and News, my friend!!!
Wonderful to see him safe back home to his family.
Love you always from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

kneesandpaws said...

So wonderful! Welcome home to Shaun!