Yea!! After six long months, Branden is finally back home in San Diego. He arrived early yesterday and immediately had a job interview for his next position. He was offered a great opportunity working for an admiral here in Point Loma. So, it appears we will be here in San Diego for another 18-24 months. If you haven't visited us yet, now is your chance! Hope all is well and enjoy the holiday weekend!Sorry, I didn't manage to get any pictures of B getting out of the helicopter. I was too worried about getting my first kiss! We look a little tired in this pic because we had to be up by 4am for his 6:30am arrival back in San Diego. It was worth it, of course!
The helicopter was wheeled inside for the homecoming ceremony...doesn't it look great?? I can't tell it has been out at sea for six months. Branden's team of maintainers did an awesome job getting it ready for the homecoming (and subsequent inspections).
Every "DET" (a group of about 20 guys from the squadron that "detach" and get temporarily assigned to a ship) has a name...because Branden's DET was DET #2, they chose the name "DET Dos Equis". To welcome them home, some of the wives put together these gift baskets and Dos Equis donated a six-pack of beer for each guy.
Branden was lucky to get to fly in early, so after he arrived, we went over to the ship to pick up the rest of the pilots and maintainers to bring them back to the squadron, where their families were waiting. It was fun to see both the ship and the squadron homecomings. The ship does all sorts of fun things, like the "First Kiss" (one or two sailors are picked at random to get to be first off the ship so they can get the "First Kiss") and "New Daddies", who also get off before everyone else. There were seven babies born in the six months the ship was gone. It was so sweet to see these daddies meet their babies for the first time. After that, the gates are opened and everyone is allowed on the pier to find their sailor and welcome him or her home!
Welcome home, USS Vandegrift!