Many of you are not familiar with BWI Airport.
Numerous times I saw my oldest son, B off for deployment at BWI.
Numerous times I welcomed my oldest son, when he returned from serving overseas.
Numerous times I met B when he came home for Christmas or when he came home to meet the newest member of our family.
I have taken my oldest son to BWI, when it is time for him to return to 'his' world.
I saw my youngest off at BWI, the first time he ever boarded an airplane.
I welcomed my baby girl from her honeymoon, at BWI.
I have shed infinite "Mom Tears" at this airport.
Countless times when I fly to visit my son, I depart from BWI.
I welcome soldiers home at BWI when I attend Operation Welcome Homeevents.
Today was a very different experience at BWI.
It was strange, almost bizarre.
Allow me to attempt to paint this picture for you with words. When we attend OWH, we assemble on the lower level, just outside the security/customs doorway. It is an open area, two stories high. There are elevators/stairs which take you to the second story, which has a railing with glass around the perimeter of the upper floor. (I hope I have not lost anyone yet). We line up close together outside this swinging door, waiting for soldiers to return home. We shake their hands, we cry, we make a lot of ruckus.
Today, as we look up to the second floor, we saw soldiers...lots of soldiers...ready to deploy. These soldiers stood up there. Looking down.
Where do you look?
Who do you thank?
What do you do?
May Almighty God Bless Each and Every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.
May He protect those leaving and may he watch over those who have returned home.