We waited. For seven months, we waited. And here we were, moments before their arrival, and still waiting. The time was crawling and still there was no sign of the helicopters that would signal their arrival home. We held on to each other, every now and then wiping a tear that had found its way to the side of our cheeks, and waited. Together.
There were smiles and laughter throughout the day, but now mostly just an anxious silence that fell between us. I couldn't open my mouth to speak but I knew there were words that needed to be said as we stood there, tears in our eyes, waiting for the ones we loved to come home. I put my hand on her back and without saying a word, told her everything was going to be okay. We had made it.
We stood together, side by side, like Marines. We were each other's strength and although we both had our moments of weakness throughout the deployment, we knew standing there that day, we were strong and we had survived; together.
Operation Tank You is the hand on your back, letting you know, you're not alone.