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I am finally able to bring you the last of the homecomings from CAG-17… The Stingers of VFA-113 were the last to arrive on this gorgeous summer day…

All around base there were signs for the various squadrons coming home, but it seemed like there was a strong prevalence of Stinger signs… these ladies were seriously fired up!

As I waited in the hanger with Laine and her son Eli, it was obvious that her excitement was bubbling over… she had waited six long months for this, and Eli had waited half of his life for Daddy to come home!  (and as a side note, this little man’s hair just kills me, I love it!)

And finally, here come the Stingers!

Little Eli didn’t know what was about to happen as he watched the jets fly overhead… but his Mommy sure did!

Seeing Eli wave to his Daddy brought tears to my eyes! This was a really special present for Eli… today Daddy comes home, and tomorrow Eli turns ONE! It is so amazing that his Daddy will get to be with him on his birthday!

Ready, Set, GO!!!!!!!  He’s home!!

I’ve talked before about the power of military homecomings, but what’s even more powerful is when there are children awaiting the return of their parents… there is nothing more gut-wrenchingly wonderful or more powerful than seeing children reunited with Mommy or Daddy… most of the time the kids are too little to understand where Daddy’s been, or even comprehend how long he’s been gone… but the parents are acutely aware, and the emotions of the day are just overwhelming.

Watching Mitch reunite with Eli was so sweet… and the way Eli held onto his Daddy really did me in… he wasn’t going to let go of his Daddy any time soon!

This beautiful little family is finally reunited… and all is as it should be!  I’m sure Eli will be plenty spoiled in the weeks to come!

Congratulations to the Koch family, and Welcome Home to Mitch!!!  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this special day for your family!

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