We have a really good family friend, just family really, that came home from Iraq yesterday. Tracy has known Harold for like 22 years. Tracy and Harold are really close. My kids call him Uncle Harold and everything. It's funny because Tracy's brother married Harold's sister, so they are "real" family! We are all kind of connected. Anyway, he came home yesterday and it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. We got to the National Guard place at like noon. By the time we found our way to the terminal, we only had to wait for about 20 minutes. Tracy's brother bought American flags for us to wave and we were surrounded by other families waiting for their loved ones. We got to see the plane land, it landed right next to where we were waiting. It was so cool. Then it taxied back towards us. The first thing we hear after it landed were police sirens just wailing. Then we looked over and saw all these police cars giving this airplane an escort. When the airplane turned into where we were waiting, 2 fire engines sprayed water over it. It was so cool. The whole crowd started to just cheer. The plane stopped and they took the stairs over and then some vets and officers lined up. The doors opened and all these guys with humongous grins came walking off the plane. It was so cool, Tracy had a really hard time not crying. I felt very proud. These guys were in Iraq for about a year. They served in like a police capacity at Camp Bucca, which is like a detention center. Anyway, when we saw him, we just started yelling his name. His mom and sisters were crying, and the kids were sooo excited. He made his way over to us and started to just give everyone hugs. I know Tracy was just ecstatic. Channel 2 News actually chose Harold's family to mic and watch as Harold got off the plane. You can see my nephew really good on the newscast and if you look closely you can see my kids in the background, and Tracy with Bree on his shoulder. Then they interviewed Harold and his mom. They didn't put that on the news though. It was such a neat experience. We haven't seen him anymore since the airport, he spent the day with his family. Tracy met him for lunch with some of their other friends and I know he was anxious for lunch time today. He's been acting like a kid on Christmas Eve. So dang excited. I think I've lost my husband for the summer!! LOL Anyway, here is a link to the video online at channel 2: http://www.kutv.com/mediacenter/local.aspx
You might have to click on "More than 100 Utah soldiers arrive home". They also refer to his family as the Hendricks family for some dumb reason. But you'll know it's Harold family when they say they are waiting for specialist Harold Hessler. You can also see our little family walk behind the camera on the "Utah troops arrive home" video! hahaha
Anyway, after the airport, we went to the mountains to do some geocaching. If you don't know what geocaching is, it's when you use a GPS device to find little "treasures" hidden all over the place. Harold hid one before he left and we never got to it last summer, so we decided to find it yesterday to commemorate his homecoming. It was a lot of fun and so beautiful. He hid it by a smaller stream and waterfall. Me and the kids made is most of the way, but Tracy ended up going the last little bit by himself. We would have had to cross the stream and it was running a little too fast for my liking! After we found it we headed up the rest of the way in the canyon to Brighton. There is still a ton of snow up there. It's kind of crazy. 4-5 feet maybe, and you hit a line in the canyon where the trees haven't bloomed yet or anything. It looks all dead still. It was kind of weird, but still cool. There is a lake up there that we've walked around on Memorial Day before and it was still frozen over and covered with snow. We got a flyer for a cabin for sale up there, just for kicks. They want $1,650,000 for it. Yikes! Crazy! Anyway, we had a really, really good day. We are so excited for Harold to be home, and that he came home safe and sound. I'm grateful for all the troops who are serving our country. We owe them our freedom and I just want to say Thank You!