January 23, 2009


All the sudden the big line of Airmen and Soldiers that are dragging their bags starts slowing down as we are approaching what should be the last gateway out to the arrivals terminal in Baltimore's International Airport. Now, I can see a sign that reads:

Welcome Home US Service Members!.

A crowd of smiling faces made up of men and women of different ages and ethnic backgrounds is lined up next to the metal handrails that delimit the walk way just outside of the US Customs doors. They are holding home made banners that welcome our troops and are shaking the hands as well as hugging all 302 of us servicemen that just got out of the rotator flight arriving from Iraq.

It was so beautiful and so emotionally charged, since I could not stop thinking about the homecoming that I was receiving in the name of my boy Paquito. In just a few hours I will be repeating that scene but this time, I will be coming out of the DFW airport's arrival gate and the welcoming crowd will be composed of my wife Maria, my mom Mimi, and my sister Tita.

Monica, my almost 8 years old daughter, refused to pick me up at the airport, because she wanted me to surprise her in her classroom as I pick her up while still wearing my uniform.

There were so many tense moments as the base was attacked with rockets and mortar fire. So many times that I felt exhausted and overheated while I rode the turret of our uparmor hummer at asphyxiating hot temperatures for over 11 hours carrying an excess of 50 pounds of body armor, personal equipment and munitions. The stress of those hardships now fade and are replaced by the euphoria and happiness of our return.

I dedicate this homecoming experience to my son and to every son and daughter that did not make it back. Thank you America for your love and support


Posted by martinf at 05:48 AM | Comments (12)