Updated “What to Expect List” and “Helpful Tips” for returning troops!
As promised, here is my updated list of helpful things for returning soldiers. Though most are directed to the guys, there are quite a few that apply to the ladies too. If I get any more suggestions from the guys left behind while mom is off to war, I’ll add those too! How about it guys, got any suggestions? What to expect from your family and friends when you get home, I mean your real home!
1.0] Flags will be everywhere, people will be shouting names of their loved ones, a band will be playing some John Phillip Sousa marching song!
2.0] Be prepared, your wife and all the kids will swarm you all at once for that welcome home kiss and hug. I recommend you hug and kiss the kids first. Then you can squeeze in a really long one with the wife!
3.0] Your Mom, brother Bob and his kids, Aunt Sally and her husband will be there too. So, you can expect total chaos because all the other guys will be getting the same reception!
4.0] When you go out the gate, don’t pay too much attention to that crowd dressed in Pink at the left waving peace signs and banners with “OBL is a freedom fighter!” And, ignore the ravings of that woman with the frizzed hair that tries to jump out in front of the car. She’s just some nut! Just wave to that group over on the right waving their welcome home signs and their American flags!
5.0] The parade down main street will be short and sweet. You do have to sit in the honored guest stands while the mayor gives you all a hearty welcome home!
6.0] There will be a welcome home dinner one night with all your family and friends.
7.0] The VFW is hosting a welcome home dinner and ceremony one night for you.
8.0] Make sure you wear your uniforms every chance you get for the first month. People will want to see your medals and shake your hands as they thank you for your service. This is especially true at the grocery store and the gas-and-go.
9.0] Smile at all the people who stare at you, especially the kids. They are just in awe of you. They all know you are a hero. They have never seen one before.
10.0] Expect all your favorite meals at home the first month. You want be allowed to do too much, they want you to get used to being back. Everyone will be a little strange at first. They know you need time to adjust. Be patient with them. They are trying to help!
How to recognize when the “honeymoon is over? You’re finally back in the groove!
1.0] “When do you plan to take out the trash? It’s still sitting by the back door!”
2.0] “Don’t forget to pick me up from school today!”
3.0] “Honey, pick up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread on your way home from work today?! Thanks!”
4.0] F#*% you, A**&*#! That’s my parking space. I got here first!”
5.0] “I just know one day I’m going to die standing in line at the grocery store. My tombstone will say, ‘He just went for a loaf of bread!'”
6.0] “Not in front of the kids!!”
7.0] “Oh my God! She’s probably still standing in front of the school waiting! .. Sorry, I just forgot! What’s the big deal?”
8.0] “Are you sure that guy is safe? He looks like a punk to me!.. I don’t care if the movie starts at 10:00, be home at 10:30!”
9.0] “What do you mean you’ve got a headache?”
10.0] “When do you plan to take out the trash? It’s still sitting by the back door!”
11.0] Please don’t leave the toilet seat up when you’re done!
Things to watch for or be aware of once you are home
1.0] You don’t need to drop and draw your weapon at the sound of a loud pop, that’s just a car back firing!
2.0] That car driving your way kind of erratically isn’t a VBIED. It’s just some drunk or kid high on crack. Just take evasive maneuvers, but you won’t need to put a bullet through the engine!
3.0] Don’t come up swinging in the mornings, it’s just your wife sneaking a hug.
4.0] Those guys in the gas stations and small convenience stores are really Muslims. But you don’t need to interrogate them. The authorities already know which ones are “sleepers” and have them under surveillance.
5.0] You will have to resist the urge to put on full combat dress when you go out into public places. Although, depending on where you live, it may not be a bad idea to wear your vest because of the gangs and drug dealers.
6.0] Don’t go out back and pee in the big pipe sticking up out of the ground. You can use a “real” john now.
7.0] You won’t need to lay your weapon beside you at the table when you eat.
8.0] Don’t start yelling, “Red Alpha 1, Red Alpha 2! Report!” every time you hear a loud boom. That’s just the sounds from a local building construction site.
9.0] You will not need to take several bottles of water and those high protein bars everywhere you go outside. You are no longer in the dessert.
10.0] You are not driving a Humvee or tank. You must drive in your own lane. And, you cannot make all the other cars get out of the way!
11.0] Don’t be surprised if you wake up in the middle of the night to find your loved ones staring at you watching you sleep or petting your head.
12.0] Yes the toilets really do flush.
[Thx to deb and jd for #’s 11 & 12]