Military Families

Home from deployment

So, my husband is deployed at the moment, and although he's not due home for at least another five months, I've been brainstorming ideas for when he does come home.  I once read one woman's blog about how she would always leave the kids with family and spend the first few days with her DH alone at a bed and breakfast or hotel.  She said it helped them both unwind and get back in their own grove before adding the stress of the whole family on top of it all.  I'm definitely thinking along these lines for this return since it's supposed to happen around our anniversary.  So my question to y'all is, what do you do to celebrate?
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Re: Home from deployment

  • We just hang out at home, relax, and don't really plan much of anything. 

    I think he'd kick my ass if I even mentioned the idea of him not seeing the kids for DAYS after getting back from being gone for so long.  Going away just the two of us a few weeks after he gets back?  Sure.  But the *first* few days?  Absolutely not.  He's watched them grow up on Skype for the last 8 months (and close to a year by the time he actually gets back), I highly doubt he wants to wait any longer than necessary to really get to know them again. 

  • Last deployment my DH's whole extended family (parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles) insisted on meeting him at arrival and it was a disaster! The second he stepped out of the crowd and saw everyone, he was SO overwhelmed (incidentally, I knew this would happen, but he was young and we were newlyweds and he didn't want to hurt his mom's feelings and say no, so...), and then two days later he had to go back to school for a 24 credit semester, so there was no down time at all. This time will be different because we live no where near family and we have both learned to be fiercely protective of his coming & going transition times, so no family is invited to fly in. But we will have two kids by the time he gets back, and he would never go for being away from them right away, so we'll try and have as low key of a coming home as possible and then maybe take a few days away for ourselves when he gets leave a few weeks later. I can understand why that family you mention does that, though, I just know my DH wouldn't go for it because he is the more clingy/overprotective parent and he misses being a dad too much when he's away.

    (Also, like the poster below, my husband's unit will have 7-10 days of reintegration, so we couldn't go away right away even if we wanted to.)

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  • My husband's current unit requires 7 days of reintegration to be started the day after he is boots on ground.  If he comes in at 2pm on a Friday, he'll have to be at work at 7am on Saturday to begin his reintegration so for us, the B&B wouldn't work/be worth it.  Also, he hasn't seen DS since he was 2 and barely talking - now that he's 3 and a totally different kid, my DH cannot wait to see him, play with him and spend time with him so he'd be disappointed not seeing him right away. 


  • Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think it would be selfish to do that to your kids. I'm sure they miss their dad, and sure it is only a couple days, but I still think that the right thing to do is be reunited as a family. My DH would be angry if I did this because he doesn't just want to see me. He wants to see our DS too. There is plenty of alone time that can be made afterwards. I'm not trying to judge you. I'm sure it sounds that way, but I cannot fathom being away from my children for an extended period of time and not seeing them the minute my feet hit the ground.
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  • Dh and I plan on leaving our DS about 2 weeks after he gets back to go on a cruise. I kinda let him plan what he wanted to do. Honestly I think it depends on how attached they are to the kids..Example: DH loves DS but he left DS when he was 3 weeks old, so he has to really build a relationship with this toddler when he gets home... so needless to say he's not attached to him at all.
  • Yeah I just asked H and he said he could see taking a trip after awhile of being home but he wanted to see ALL of his family immediately. We just had our first homecoming and trust me I think just being together is a celebration enough I don't feel you need to do anything special other than maybe a nice home cooked meal and some family time.
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  • My DH wanted to sleep in his/our bed, relax in our home and spend time with me, our son and our dog. He wanted to be able to go to the fridge and get what he wanted. Plus, he was adjusting to the time change, so being able to get up at odd hours without waking me or the baby was important. Some may like an immediate B&B get-away, but my DH is not one of them!
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  • My H just wanted to be in his own bed as soon as possible.  He always has between 5 and 7 days of demobilization work before he gets his DD214 so even though he's stateside and about 30 minutes from home he's not home...he's still living in a barracks.

    We also invite our family to the homecoming/release ceremony so they can say their "hellos" to him there and not bother us for a few days after he's at home.  We like to keep the welcome home as he's getting off the plane for just the two of us and when our daughter is born and if he deploys again it would just be the three of us.

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  • I was the only one to meet him at the reunion ceremony. (It happened to be 11:30 at night and I was not about to bring an exhausted 10-month-old.) I left DS with my mom for the night and we stayed at a hotel between post and her house. I might have done things differently had the timing been otherwise, but as it was, it was actually very perfect. 
  • I'll tell you what our chaplain told us...every soldier is different. If that is what he wants to do, then go for it. The chaplain told us to basically do what our soldier wanted for that first week. My DH wanted nothing more than to see me and his kids (DS was born during deployment) and just spend time getting to know us again. He wanted his own bed, his own house with his family. We did take a trip (as a family) about a month after he came home and we did make sure we had date nights until we could get away from the kids longer than that. So my advice to you is to talk to your H about what he wants to do and go from there. He may not know what he wants until it gets closer to coming home either. I know my DH couldn't think about coming home until about 3 weeks before. He was too focused on his mission and I didn't want him to just focus on his coming home because his men depend on him to be a good leader. Good luck with whatever you decide, coming home is wonderful!
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  • Last deployment we didnt have kids and I wasnt pregnant but I think having a few days to yourself is nice even if you just go away for the weekend..you dont even have to do it the day he comes home in case he wants to spend the first few days with the kids you can wait a week or so you know? As for my husband I was the only one there for homecoming because he knew he just wanted to be alone with me. He loves his family to death an is super close with them but he just wanted to be with me and a lot of guys feel extremely overwhelmed just to come home but then to come home to a house full of people.My husband didnt wanna go anywhere the first week  he just wanted to sleep in our bed, watch tv, eat real food, normal things then after that we'd go out to eat/movies..well you know him best so only you two can decide but you should ask him what he wants to do and is more comfortable with because you dont want to start off on the wrong foot! Im sure since its around your anniversary he would like to do something nice anyways =]
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  • When my DH went to Haiti we lived in VA, but he didnt know how long he would be there so he had me and DS packed up and shipped to my parents house, in OH, until he came back. When he came back i drove down by myself to pick him up and left DS with my parents. We spend 3 days in a hotel because he had to go in to work, off load the equipment from the ship they were on, and drop a leave chit. We ended up spending his birthday there in the hotel just us, since we already knew we would be there for a couple of days and on his birthday i packed a bunch of lingerie and we just spend the day in the room, and went out to dinner. It was really nice to have 'just us' time. But we BOTH missed DS really bad, and since DS's birthday is the day after DH's we ended up driving back on DS's 2nd birthday. :( The trip was easier without taking DS with me, but missing him that much and missing his birthday wasn't really worth it. 
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  • image leslie13510:

    We just hang out at home, relax, and don't really plan much of anything. 

    I think he'd kick my ass if I even mentioned the idea of him not seeing the kids for DAYS after getting back from being gone for so long.  Going away just the two of us a few weeks after he gets back?  Sure.  But the *first* few days?  Absolutely not.  He's watched them grow up on Skype for the last 8 months (and close to a year by the time he actually gets back), I highly doubt he wants to wait any longer than necessary to really get to know them again. 

     

    Totally agree!

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  • image Lissa832:
    Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think it would be selfish to do that to your kids. I'm sure they miss their dad, and sure it is only a couple days, but I still think that the right thing to do is be reunited as a family. My DH would be angry if I did this because he doesn't just want to see me. He wants to see our DS too. There is plenty of alone time that can be made afterwards. I'm not trying to judge you. I'm sure it sounds that way, but I cannot fathom being away from my children for an extended period of time and not seeing them the minute my feet hit the ground.

    This exactly.  Your kids miss him too!   

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  • I guess I should have mentioned that it wouldn't be the exact day he gets home, and that he's totally on board with the idea. 
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