What happens at a homecoming? — The Bump
Military Families

What happens at a homecoming?

My H is deployed right now and will be back next month.  This is our first deployment so I am not sure what to expect.  I am sure it varies widely just as everything else in the Army/military does, but in general what happens the day they come back?  He will be flying into the base, not a civilian airport, if that makes a difference.  Thanks!
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Re: What happens at a homecoming?

  • It really does depend on the unit.  There are some units that have a huge ceremony type thing.  There are people singing.  The Commander speaks.  There is a band.  The unit marches in and is then released to their families.  

    There are some units that drive up in a bus, the guys get out and find their families.  There are some units where you pull up in your car, your husband gets in and you drive home.  

    Does your husband's unit have an FRG?  I'd contact your key caller and ask what to expect from that unit.   

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  • I know at our last homecoming DH's unit landed and you could watch them deplane but they were not allowed to go to see you yet. They went into debriefings  right away and we could watch them on a video screen but there was no sound. A few hrs (yes hrs) later the debriefings finished and they marched into the building where all the families were waiting. They stood in formation, the commander said a few words and then they were finally released to their families. 
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  • Wow, hours?  I will ask the FRG, I didn't even think of that.  Since DD will be about 10.5 months I will probably try and find a babysitter if we are going to have to sit there while they get debriefed and have a ceremony, but if it is just a pick up type of thing I know he wants to see her right away, she was only 7 weeks when he left.  Thanks ladies!
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  • It really depends. Some units do a little ceremony, others don't. In my experience, dh flew into a surrounding base. They took buses to his base. When the buses arrived, the Marines exited and found their families in the waiting crowd. Once that was done, they went to find their bags, which is a process, lol. After he had all of his belongings, he was free to go. There was no ceremony. There was no fuss. He was given his instructions for reporting to work while on the bus. 
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  • Yes, hrs. There was lots of activities and stuff for the kids to do while waiting, but it was still a long wait. 

    This was at Ft. Bliss. We have since PCSed and are in the middle of another deployment. I'm curious to see how this homecoming will compare. I will probably contact my FRG leader or FRSA too to get some information on what to expect. 
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  • My husband was in the marines so it might be a little different for homecomings but when he got back they drove to base on a bus and then they went to the armory to drop there weapons off witch took at least 3 hours and usually there COC had there speeches/formation at the armory and then they got to the field and were able to go straight home. If I learned anything home comings make for a long day/night
  • I'm sure the only thing that is common for all branches and units is there is a lot of waiting around! DH is Marines but we have had homecomings where...

    we were waiting on the runway, the plane landed in front of us, they deplaned and came right into our arms...

    Buses pulled up, they deboarded and came right to us...

    And where the got off the buses, formed up, marched in, and were released to us after a few words from the CO.

    At all homecomings there were lots of decorations, kids activities, music, food, and excitement! It is a special day, enjoy it!

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  • IME, which is Marine specific, they land at an airport nearby (~an hour away), get on the bus, get back to base, turn in their weapons, get back on the bus to drive .25 miles to the unit, get in formation, and then get released. 

    The only thing that is common across the board is that you can expect to be told a time and have it be 3-4 hours later, lol. I knew one person who had an early arrival though.  

    I've seen a lot of military surprise homecomings. It wouldn't work on me. I always have my back to the corner and my face to the door. Looking for terrorists, criminals, various other threats, and husbands.
  • imageWishIcouldbeinthe'stan:

    IME, which is Marine specific, they land at an airport nearby (~an hour away), get on the bus, get back to base, turn in their weapons, get back on the bus to drive .25 miles to the unit, get in formation, and then get released. 

    The only thing that is common across the board is that you can expect to be told a time and have it be 3-4 hours later, lol. I knew one person who had an early arrival though.  

     

    ...Or you can have what happened to me this go round.  I didn't get the call to tell me he was wheels up.  I called our friend on Rear D to see if he had heard anything.  He called me back to tell me the plane was landing in 30 min., three hours ahead of when we had figured.  I was 30 min from home and still had to go back to get dressed and drive the 30 min to the base.  FREAK OUT MOMENT! 

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