W00t! I'm redeploying (aka going home from Iraq)!

It’s not mundane or pointless to me, but this is the only place to put this. :slight_smile: And this is a somewhat lengthy OP, so even though it’s a happy story, you know that going in.
Yesterday, I boarded a C-130 at Ali (Tallil) Air Base, Iraq, bound for Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Tomorrow night, I’ll board a plane here bound for Shannon, Ireland, and Baltimore. Friday morning, I’m headed back to Abilene for the first time in five months.
Five months doesn’t sound like a long time, and I know it’s really not that much compared to the year-long deployments that many Army types do, but this is going to be a sweet homecoming. First, Friday is my 29th birthday. If there’s a better birthday present, I don’t know what it is. Second, and far more important, I get to meet my son.
The backstory: I left for my pre-deployment training in late July, about 7 weeks before BomTek Jr was scheduled to arrive. I was supposed to leave straight from Florida for Iraq and spend six months there, but Mrs BomTek went into pre-term labor the day before I “graduated” from Florida, so the Air Force sent me home on emergency leave. Our son (our first) was born about a week later, and I know I am undeservedly lucky to have witnessed that when I wasn’t even supposed to have been in the same country. Military efficiency being what it is, it was about a month altogether before the Air Force finally got me a flight to Iraq (long enough that I was beginning to wonder if they’d send me at all). Even though those first few weeks were tough, I was happy to be there to help the wife with feeding and changing duties while she was recovering.
But our son wasn’t really a person yet in any real sense, or at least not an individual; he was just a creature who cried, slept, pooped, and ate. Over the last five months, Mrs BomTek’s been amazing at always having the camera phone and the video camera handy, and I’ve been able to watch as he started smiling, laughing, “kissing” his mommy back, rolling over/wiggling from one place to the other, and developing the first hints of a personality. I’m unable to find the words to describe how anxious I am to get to know my son. It’s going to be so much fun!
I also wanted to thank everyone here for making my downtime (approximately 99 out of every 100 hours I spent not sleeping or eating) during these last five months so much more enjoyable. I’m more of a lurker than a poster, only up to 0.41 posts per day, but there was hardly a day that went by during my time in Iraq that I didn’t check the SDMB and try to explain to everyone else in the shop what makes it so great. Thank you all!

Congratulations, THANK YOU for your service, and it sounds like you have a great family. Well done, sir.

I swore I’d never come back and post on this board, but my husband is Tripler, who does what I think it is you do (and for whom you do it) and who I think will go next year where you’re now leaving. Thank you for a job well done and for staying whole and healthy. Good luck on your travels home and my best wishes to your wife; I think I know how she feels. Enjoy your new baby and many many years of happiness!

Thank you for what you do. Now go enjoy that baby and your family! :slight_smile:

Safe trip home!

Hooray, congrats, and soon-to-be welcome home!

I’m really happy for you and glad you’re making it home safe and sound. Have fun with your son.

Congrats and a big THANKS!

Congrats and thanks! Having just gotten out of Kabul, I share your joy at returning home!

Congrats and THANK YOU for your service!

It will be such a joy to see your son. They’re at a fun age. Don’t worry if he’s a little wary of you at first; he’ll warm to you quickly. Enjoy the time with your son; they grow up too fast!

BomTek, PM me when you get a chance. And congrats on your little one! I don’t know if they make “Eights” or “Nines” in an appropriate size for infants.

Tripler
Initial success or total failure at coincidences with “Guests.”

Welcome home and thank you!

Enjoy your time with your wife and getting to know your son.

According to my wife he’s one of the most outgoing babies many people have seen. At least that’s what they tell her. I’m really hoping we won’t have too much getting-to-know-you time.

Nawth, your husband and I do indeed share Air Force job specialties. I’ll be sending a PM your way shortly, per his request, but I wanted to say thank you to you personally. I know the “job” of military spouse is a tough and mostly thankless one, but unbelievably important.

Hooray! Come home safely. Thank you for your service.

Congratulations on making it back, BomTek. I’m sure Texas will be more than happy to have another son come back home safe and sound!

Now, your job is to love your family! Get to it, boy! :slight_smile:

Let me add my congratulations and thank yous as well!!!

If it wasn’t for people like you, I don’t know where we would be…

Congrats, BomTek. As the wife of an Army type that had a year-long all-expense-paid vacation in Afghanistan, let me thank you AND your wife for your service to our country. Travel safely and give the little one some SDMB nuggies from us.

Have a safe trip back. That last leg of the plane ride is the longest.

I’m sure you’ll hear this a lot, but take things slowly when you get back. I’m not just talking about alcohol, but just with being home. It takes some getting used to. I’d be gone around the same length you were and each time I’d be hard for me to get back in the swing of things, and I was single too, I didn’t have a spouse and a kid to worry about.

Don’t tell my family, but I actually miss deploying.

Thank you and congratulations!

I forgot to add earlier that the first time my hub told me that he was expecting his redeployment orders, I about had heart attack. The word “redeployment” to us civilians means “deploying again”, not “coming home”!

Welcome back, and thank you for your service!