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Multiple Deployments
Career military folks can expect to deploy multiple times. For Karla and her husband, the grand total is six... so far. It's a big difference between the first and the sixth, as Karla explained:

"For the first homecoming, I took the whole day off work, got a pedicure, tried on several outfits, cleaned the house to be completely spotless, stocked the fridge, and arrived a couple hours early to the meeting point just so I wouldn't get there late. I had feelings of excitement, nervousness, butterflies in my stomach, and just the anxiety of wanting to have him home safe and sound. It felt like I was going on a first date with him all over again.

Fast forward 12 years to deployment homecoming #6 and the addition of two small children to our family. The house got somewhat picked up an hour or so before we went to meet him, I decided what to wear after I was finally able to take a shower, and I let my husband know I would go grocery shopping the next day. The same feelings were there but with added stress about what time the buses would actually arrive, would I have to wake my kids up to go meet their dad, would it be too cold for them, and what if it was the middle of the night?

Going through multiple homecomings doesn't mean one is any less special than the other. For us, it's just become more familiar. It's an amazing feeling — each and every time, no matter how many times you go through it — to give that person you love a hug and kiss after so many months apart. Knowing that they are home with you and your family is once again complete is a feeling you can't necessarily put into words."
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