"Can't wait to see you again. Four weeks of training until graduation. Love, Lee."
Seeing Lee this past weekend was incredible. Really. I was extrememley nervous, excited, anxious, sleep deprived...Friday, I left work a bit early to make my flight to Atlanta but my flight was delayed. I finally got to Atlanta and discovered a vm from Lee. They were given their cellphones to use until lights out. By the time I was able to call him, I had less than 10 minutes to talk to him before lights out. It was really neat to hear his voice and anticipate the next day's events with him. I was finally able to board my flight to Columbus, GA and landed around 10:30 p.m. I was worried I was going to get lost maneuvering around town with my rental car but it was extremeley easy. (Thanks to Lee for getting me a GPS before he left.) I found my room and got settled in fast. I tried to get some sleep but who needs sleep, right?!?! Saturday morning I woke up super early. I wanted to leave my hotel early in case I had trouble getting on base, etc. Nope. That was easy too. I sat through a boring Family Briefing. I say boring because I couldn't hear anything. Between crying babies and catty moms that know it all to well to listen...then finally, DS told us which door we would exit to see the men in formation and where they would be in 20 minutes. One guy opened the door and I found my way to that side of the room and exited fast. I remember overhearing the family behind me saying that it kinda sucked that they had to wait another 20 minutes. While they sat there dwelling on the next 20 minutes I was already finding my way around the buidling to see my soldier. I've got to tell you, I had this overwhelming feeling as I was walking down the hill and turning the corner. Suddenly, I saw all of them in formation. I uncautiously covered my mouth in awe and choked up big time. There they were. Clean cut, straight as a whistle and standing in formation. I knew Lee is in the 3rd Platoon and to count down from the left to find his platoon. I also knew where he would be standing from the drawing of his formation he had sent me. Front and center since he's the Platoon Guide! It was neat to fit an image with all the letters I had studied, read and reread. When they concluded the Soldiers Creed, they were released to their barracks to get their personal items and then could meet up with their families. I stood there watching, staring and waiting for him and there he was. I stood there frozen and almost in shock that he was walking towards me. Then he grabbed me and we clung to each other forever. He grabbed my hand tight. I could feel how sweaty he was in his Class A's but I didn't care. I lead him to our car for the weeknd while he held onto me the whole way. It was everything I had imagined and more. He wanted a cheeseburger so we stopped by Burger King. He ordered an Angry Whopper and large fry. We then stopped by a conveienvt store and he got 2 large Gaterades and 2 Monster energy drinks. We then had to stop by Taco Bell. He got a chicken quesadilla, soft taco and a large Pepsi fountain drink. He ate it all...Few hours later he wanted to order a pizza...and we did. Jan had brought the peach pie he had requested Nana make for him. He ate more than 1/2 of it over the weekend. We just gave the whole thing to him and told him to dig into it. We drove around his base and he pointed out where he had been and what he had accomplished during his training. It was crazy to see the rope that he had fallen ~15ft. We also saw where his Airborne Training will be held. Again, it was great to see things with my eyes instead resorting to the visual I had made up in my head based off a letter. He looks so good. He's talk, dark and handsome. I took some pictures and I will post some soon. It was really hard saying goodbye...again. The dinky airport in Columbus only had 1 flight going out yesterday and it was mine! They didn't even have security open yet because the commuter plane wasn't back from Atlanta. Lee watched me check my bag and sat with me by security for awhile. We eventually felt like he should go so he could be sure to make it back to base in time. He was pissed off beacuse the gates weren't open yet. He didn't want me to have to watch him walk away again. He got up, we hugged and he was gone. I saw him go out the the glass doors and disappear around the corner. I sat there crying and fidgeting with my wedding ring. Hoping; wishing he were still with me. The weekend went by too fast. Like an answered prayer, I looked up to see Lee. He came back. There he was sitting by me. Like when I first saw him Saturday morning, he grabbed my hand tight. It was perfect. He said he wasn't leaving me like this and that he just couldn't. I called him when I landed in Atlanta and got to talk to him one last time before he had to turn his phone off to lock it up again. I'm hoping he gets his phone more as graduation gets closer. I'm so excited for him and I'm so excited for us. To see what all we have accomplished together and the bond we share is amazing. We talked about how when he signed up; we both signed up. He sheds sweat and cry tears. Together we're making it.