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    Posted September 10, 2015 by
    Allen, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Salute to troops

    the best and worst hug ever


    I have noticed something about myself and my Navy mom friends... something about the way we hug our sailors when we see them after a long separation or when we have to say goodbye. It is a very long, tight, head buried hug. I think we just want to hold onto them for as long as we can. It feels almost primal, this gathering up of our child, this attempt to stop time. It is the best and worst hug ever, because even the hello hug has goodbye in it.

    The hug photo is from June 4, 2015.My son had just gotten off his ship (the USS Carl Vinson) after a 9 1/2 month deployment, most of which was in Persian Gulf as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.  My son is a Nuclear Machinist's Mate. His work involves maintaining the ships nuclear reactors. Nukes are known for being "first on/last off" the ship as they are responsible for powering the reactors up or down.


    And it proved to be true on homecoming day. By the time the nukes got off the ship the hoopla had ended. The DJ was long gone. The clean-up crews had come and the street was reopened. There were no pom-poms or flags, no songs or confetti. We waited for hours after most had left to celebrate. The hugs and tears of so many reunions had played out before me. And then finally I saw my son. He had worked shutting down the reactor throughout the celebrations, but had put on his dress whites for me. There are no words for this moment... well... just a few... love, joy, pride and gratitude... mostly love.

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