My Surprise Christmas Military Homecoming Story

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The year was 2007. I was a military fiancée…complete with a ring on my finger. I had been “dating” my man for nine months, if it can be called “dating” when I had seen him 10 days in those nine months.

Around the beginning of December, Russ called me and told me he could come up for a visit for Christmas IF he submitted a pass that day. So I booked him a flight and he submitted the pass. Well………long story short: bad day in the office = LEAVE DENIED. (For no reason…) I asked him if he could resubmit the pass, but he said “no, it’s over, I can’t come…”

**This is the story that he told me. I found out a few weeks ago that even that much was a lie…his leave was never denied!**

I kept hoping, although I can’t even say that I prayed. I really was pretty sure it was just not possible, although I didn’t cancel the flight.

The whole time he’s playing it up like he’s doing nothing for Christmas. I’m gearing myself up emotionally for being away from him on Christmas – AND next Christmas too because he’ll be deployed… (and knowing that he’s probably gonna be depressed that day, but I have to be happy for him.) I did everything I could to make his day special and sent him a big box full of goodies, candy, cookies, and presents.

Early during the week before Christmas, he told me that PT was getting easier because everyone had left for the holiday. This further reinforced in my mind that he was staying there. So on Wednesday, I canceled his flight. (When I told, him he FREAKED OUT, but I didn’t catch why…duh!)

I also MISSED the hints he dropped when he started asking me all kinds of questions about my supervisors at work, or when he asked me my schedule for the weekend (which he rarely does – he asks me usually one day in advance if I’m working but never “what are you working this weekend?”).

Behind the scenes, the ONE SEAT on the flight MIRACULOUSLY stayed open for a day so he could re-book it. And my little brother Michael was able to keep the internet down for a day or two so I couldn’t check my email. (Russ was afraid I might get an itinerary or confirmation email.) Russ set it up so my other brother Kurt would pick him up at the airport without me knowing.

The only time I had a clue was on Friday. I hadn’t heard from him ALL day and I thought, “Maybe he’s flyin up here!” But then he called Friday night and he was obviously still on post and planning for no Christmas. So I dismissed the thought and never thought it again.

On Saturday, four days before Christmas, I was scheduled to work from 9-3. About half-way through, it was time for my break. A girl came over to take over my register, but my assistant-store-manager Kevin was standing next to her and asked me to come with him. I asked “do I need to bring my cash drawer?” and he said “no.”

I knew I was in trouble.

We were walking back to the training room and Kevin says “ya know I hate to have these kinds of conversations, especially with you. But I don’t want you to get too upset.”

I was so nervous.

We sit down and he pulls out his notebook and starts talking about different little things I could improve on. And I’m thinking, “Ok, get to the point, what did I do?!?!” (The stuff he was talking about wasn’t reason enough to have a disciplinary meeting!)

About two minutes later, there’s a knock on the door and my head-cashier Niki says, “Kevin, I’m sorry to interrupt, but I have an emergency.”

I turn my head and Russ walks in IN UNIFORM and smiles and says “Merry Micmiss!!!!”

I screamed!!! And Niki said “I’ve never seen someone jump from a chair to a person without touching the floor!” It was awesome. I’m holding him in my arms, but I’m thinking “of all the times for him to come, here I am getting BUSTED!!!!” So I whisper to him “Russ, I’m in the middle of an important meeting…” He said, “No! Kevin set this up!!” DUH!!! Kevin and Niki disappeared and Russ and I just hugged and hugged. We’re walking out of the training room and I’m like “what do I do now? Do I have to go back to work?”

I left work without even counting down my cash drawer (my head was somewhere else but I DID remember to clock out!) and we got to spend four WONDERFUL days together. Kevin gave me Christmas Eve off as well, and I can honestly say that this was the best Christmas ever!!

It was so great that I saw all the other gifts as almost non-important. I got the only thing I wanted for Christmas.


I posted earlier in the blog carnival that one of my favorite Christmas songs is “This Christmas Time” by Lonestar. This is why. I had heard the song for the first time right around the time that my hopes were dashed and I didn’t think that Russ was coming to visit. Every time I heard the song it made me cry because I wanted it to be true so badly.

But once he was home, the song became the only way I could truly express how I felt that whole four days! I never hear this song that I don’t well up in remembering how good it felt to be in his arms that Christmas season…our first Christmas together. This is “what the first Christmas means to me.”

Presents underneath the tree
Candles burning bright
Stockings hung with lots of care
On this silent Christmas night
What makes this season magical
Is what made my dream come true
Just seeing you
To be here with you

Oh this Christmas time
Is the best one ever
The greatest gift in life
Is you and me together
And I thank heaven for sending you here tonight
This Christmas time

Some people hope for rings of gold
All that money buys
Children have their list of toys
Prayin’ Santa gets it right
The one thing I wish for
Came true when you walked in
To hear you laugh again
To see you smile again

Oh this Christmas time
Is the best one ever
The greatest gift in life
Is you and me together
And I thank heaven for sending you here tonight
Oh this Christmas time

Oh this Christmas time
Is the best one ever
The greatest gift in life
Is you and me together
And I thank heaven for sending you here tonight
Sending you here tonight
This Christmas time

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