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    Posted December 3, 2013 by
    Indiana, Indiana
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Salute to troops

    9 Months and Counting

    In February of 2013, my soldier left behind the friends and family he called his home to start the training they call "Boot Camp." I wrote him at least one letter every day. The best days were the ones that I found a response in the mail box. After a few weeks, I received the first phone call and the hoarsness in his voice made me cry. After three months, I drove with his mother cross country from Indianapolis to Oklahoma and we were able to celebrate our one year anniversary on the day of his graduation from boot camp. Three wonderful days pass and we had to say our goodbyes before he was sent to Missouri. Being able to call and text to tell each other good night was what got us through his AIT training. On the third of July, I drove literally to the front door of his barracks to take him home. Navigating in a military base is next to impossible and there were points we had almost run soldiers over, finding out too late that some of the roads were not roads at all! By the time my soldier was packed and loaded into the car, we began the journey home. Adjusting to him being back was difficult but an incredible feeling. We started planning to get a new apt, and to work out a few things at home, laying more groundwork for our partnership to last. We planned our first date to celebrate him being back the following sunday because he had to spend the weekend at the military base for his "one weekend/month" …He came home, put his arms around me, and told me that their commander came to greet them. Then, my soldier broke the news to me saying that the commander told him he had three weeks to sort things out at home before he was to be deployed to afghanistan. We spent every day together like we had before, and in the rush to prepare all his finances to be self sustainable, the time flew. Before I knew it, he was putting his uniform on again and getting ready to fly to finish his training in fort hood tx before deploying out of country. After the ceremony, the soldiers filed one by one onto the charter busses. A biker group of veterans lead the way with a police escort, then the carter busses, and my little green car was the first in line to lead all of the family and friends who were seeing their soldiers off. When we reached the airport, we gave our last goodbyes and I stayed by my phone. after approximately a month and a half, i get a message telling me that my solder and his company were granted a 4 day pass before deploying over seas and that he had a hotel ready for me in dallas. So i bought my plane ticket, i packed my bags, and I flew to dallas. I beat him to the hotel and spent hours preparing. His buddy who was giving him a ride to the hotel had gone in the exact opposite direction, adding an extra hour and a half to their already i think it was a three hour drive. I stayed by my phone. I'd get a message "we're an hour away!" "We are getting close!" "we are at the gas station down the street! I see the hotel sign!" "I'm in the parking lot!" "I'm in the lobby!" "I'm down the hall!" I stood waiting by the door, looking through the peaky hole absolutely bursting with excitement for at least a good…10 minutes. I waited….and waited…and i saw his shadow running around the corner and down the hall! I flung the door open and knocked him over in the hall, lost the door, and locked ourselves out. We had to go downstairs to get another key before we made it in the room. I remember how wonderful he smelled…and how strong he felt after the intense working out they do in their training… how handsome he was… it was the start to the most incredible and care free 4 days of my life. we were constantly doing new things, we had great and hilariously wonderful experiences. we'd gone to the ripleys believe it or not museum and had to try 4 times to get lost in the mirror maze, but when we did, we were stuck for almost an hour. we went to one of the smallest but most beautiful zoo's either of us had ever seen and seeing as we were the only ones by the red river hogs/ wart hogs at one time in the day, we were able to chat with the trainer and she posed the amusing swine so we could get incredible pictures. We met the most enthusiastic employees who love their jobs at the medieval times for dinner one evening. our knight won the jousting and after everyone was released, and the villain was alone at the bar, we were the only people to commend him for his wonderful acting. (we actually first met in tech theater in high school. we both are enormous fans of the performing arts) We had gone to a shooting range advertised by google maps that wasn't actually opening for another three weeks…so we went to dinner at a hilarious restaurant in the outskirts of dallas called "dick's last resort" where they insult you throughout your meal. on the last morning, he hurried to get his equipment packed and his uniform on…we looked at the clock and discovered that the time changed and we were blessed with another hour together. we waited in the hotel room…watched television…talked…and finished off the last of the alcohol in the fridge seeing as it would be the last time my soldier's lips met the golden nectar called goldschlager or however it's spelled. …his phone went off and his ride was downstairs…he went into the bathroom to brush his teeth and came out with tears in his eyes and he held me. …I can still feel what it was like when he held me and kissed me telling me he loved me. he told me i am his world and he just has to go protect it for a little while…and he promised he would come home. The rest of the evening I finished to bottle of jagermeister and I ordered a pizza. i did not cry when the pizza was delivered but he asked why i was in town, i told him my soldier had a 4 day leave before he deployed and the man that delivered the pizza hugged me and asked me to thank my soldier for serving our country. …I cried for hours in the room until i woke up the next morning to fly back to my parents where i was staying until my soldier got home; at his request so i wouldn't be alone. I got home, and again i found myself waiting by the phone. I got a message from Facebook after about a week from my soldier telling me he made it to his barracks and he is safe. I'd continue to wait by the phone. I found out that they do not get christmas trees, so i thought i'd play santa clause this year and i sent him a miniature 2' tree with lights and hilarious miniature bulbs in blue, gold and red with one ornament. a superman ornament because i call my soldier my superman after his favorite super hero as a kid. then i told all of his friends and family back home to send him one ornament so he would have a little bit of everyone with him for christmas. I went out and found knee high superman socks a week later with tiny capes on them and turned one into his stocking and stuffed enough candy in it to feed his sweet tooth for a week. I put together my care package, sent it, and would wait by the phone. Now, i am counting down. I've been keeping busy trying to get a nest egg together for when he comes home so we can start a life together, i'm getting certified to be a kick boxing instructor and am slowly laying the ground work to start building our future. Now I celebrate when i receive a message on the 3rd of every month. today being the 3rd of december, we have officially survived 3 months of his deployment and he told me when he returns next september that i can expect a proposal and we will never have to be apart like this again. I found out later though that we got lucky. even though he wasn't supposed to deploy, he was in the last company from indianapolis that wasn't being deployed to syria. we miss each other but we try to keep our hopes up. he received his care package today to celebrate only 9 months left! victory is on our horizons. Hopefully, i will be back in our apt in indianapolis by new years, starting my business/career if weather and money permits to start pulling our lives back together.

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