Today was a very special day for our family. Today we welcomed my brother home from Afghanistan after 7 months of deployment.
We met him at the airport, each holding flags wrapped with a yellow ribbon. As he walked through the revolving doors and greeted his girlfriend for the first time in 7 months, my heart melted. They engaged in a long embrace, his face nestled in her neck. After exchanging a few kisses, he walked over to me and I threw my arms around him. I couldn’t help but cry, I was filled with emotion. Then he went around to greet everyone else who had come to welcome him back, Freddie, Harper, Koko’s (his girlfriend) parents, my Uncle Joe and his girlfriend Brittani. It was a joyous occasion.
As we waited for his baggage we caught up on what life was like in the desert. We talked about what he was looking forward to eating, doing and seeing, while he is in town. At one point, he reached into his backpack and pulled out a teddy bear for Harper. The bear wore a shirt that read, Operation Enduring Freedom. Harper loved it! How thoughtful for a soldier, who in the midst of war, thinks of his niece and makes sure he brings her back a souvenir. What a sweet uncle!
Next stop, In-n-Out. It was one of the restaurants on his list to visit. While we were eating 4 little boys walked over and asked to shake Quincy’s hand. They thanked him for his service and told him about how they were in ROTC at their school, and looked forward to serving in the army like him one day. It was a joy to see my little brother, who is all grown up now, be such a positive role model to other young men who aspire to follow in his footsteps. As an older sister, this was a proud moment for me. But Quincy can also be so proud of himself for all that he has accomplished and how far he has come.
After dinner, it was time to say goodnight. It has been a long 5 days to get from Afghanistan to LAX. But he finally made it, 6 stops later. We are looking forward to spending some quality time together before he returns to Afghanistan in 2 weeks to complete his 12-month deployment.
I feel honored to have a brother who is serving our country. He has sacrificed so much to help others and make a difference. He is brave, he is strong and he is courageous. He is our hero.