I have a core group of girlfriends from Salina that remain fiercely loyal and connected (thanks in particular to technology – I have a long string of emails, facebook messages and texts to prove it)! Melissa is a part of this group and Erik and I had the privilege of joining her as her husband returned home from his third deployment. Casey came home Monday after a year in Djibouti, Africa (to read more about how his outpost played a role in the Somalia Rescue, check out this NY Times article).
I had never been to a homecoming ceremony before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Melissa did her best to narrate what was happening, and one of the many reasons I love Melissa is for her ability to speak her mind. During the ceremony, which I am sure felt like it took an eternity because it was all that was left separating her from her husband, her commentary provided me a list of “Melissa-isms” that I can’t think about without laughing. “Are you sure this dress makes me look pregnant and not fat?” “Marine ceremonies are just so much shorter than the Guard. If this were a Marine ceremony we would be at lunch and have our food by now.” “If this were a Marine ceremony, we would be out of here and Casey would be two beers in by now.” HA!
I should note that this was the FIRST TIME Casey had seen Melissa “officially” showing her baby bump! Once they returned to Salina, they had a sonogram that revealed they are expecting a baby boy! Woohoo!
The afternoon was a beautiful mix of excitement, patriotism and emotion. Casey and Melissa – we are so incredibly proud of the two of you and thankful for the sacrifices you have made for our country. Welcome home, Casey, we have missed you!