I'm an Army Husband (Reunited With My Soldier Wife After 6 Months)
--Guest Post from Chris Mendoza
Chris' and his wife Elizabeth, a PFC in the United States Army, surprised their kids with a spectacular reunion in episode two of "Coming Home". The show airs Sundays at 10pm/9c.
My name is Chris Mendoza and I am an Army husband. My wife, PFC Elizabeth Mendoza, joined the army two years ago. We have a Brady Bunch family, meaning we have the his, hers, and the ours matching set. My wife joined the army to help relieve the stress the economy was putting on our family. So right out of A.I.T, we packed our bags and headed straight for Oahu Hawaii, and her first deployment.
It has been almost a year now since she left for Afghanistan. She is due to return home any day. While she is away protecting the world and providing for her family, I've been at home playing the role of both mother and father. It takes a special breed of family to be a military family. There are so many hardships that each member of the family must endure. As for the deployed soldier, they experience all the feelings of being alone, sad, worried, and endure a separation from loved ones, the members of the family that impatiently await their safe return. Lucky for us, the soldiers are given reprieve, R&R.
I truly wanted my wife's R&R return to be as special as possible, so I contacted the show "Coming Home". Amazingly they were so ready to help. As a family, we have prided ourselves on playing tricks on each other, mostly our kids. So when the opportunity came along to do surprise our kids with a reunion for the show, we couldn’t pass it up. After about a dozen emails, we were set to create some memories that would last a lifetime.
We began by telling our middle child Grace that she won a contest. That she would be on the KHON News 2 morning show as a pet handler. She was so excited, she called all her friends and family to tell them the great news. The idea was that as our children would be helping with the pets, and my wife would come out and surprise them on live television. They were clueless since I sorta told them mommy's R&R had been cancelled.
Soon after that I had to meet my wife at the airport. I don’t often find myself getting nervous about much, with the exception being the moment as I stood waiting. After what seemed like forever, she came down the escalators. She tried to be calm but as soon as she saw me, hers legs began to move so fast that her butt had to follow. She ran through the doors and straight into my arms. It was all too surreal, it was such a great feeling to have my best friend, my love, back in my arms again.
She got in a bit late so we stayed in a hotel for the night. It was a great feeling having her lay next to me as we fell to sleep. As the next morning rolled in, our plans began to unfold. Operation “ surprise surprise” was a go (add in Gomer Pyle voice). First I had to drop her off at the news station, then off I ran to fetch our unsuspecting kids. A couple of hours later I returned with our children, bound with excitement. It had been a long six months since they last got to hold onto their mommy, and all I wanted was to see their reactions when their mom popped out of thin air. I knew that our middle child Grace wasn’t going to cry or get all mushy, oddly she has been the rock this whole time. But I knew she would have a smile bigger than the rainbows that cover our islands. As for our youngest Sarai (Ray Ray), oh man. She can't look at pictures of her mommy without becoming a ball of tears.
Well the time came, Grace did her part of the show. Then all of us were brought out for the end of the news. As they were bringing the pets back on stage, my wife, my love, their mommy, our hero was waiting for them to turn and see her. Just as they did, there was a short pause, a moment of disbelief. Then an instant and overwhelming happiness as they leaped off the couch they were sitting on and straight into their moms arms.
I was so happy and emotional. Elizabeth began to cry with joy, Ray Ray was crying as well. With the two of them crying I couldn’t seem to help myself, I might of, um, started to cry a little bit. I know that I will never forget the look on all of their faces, and all the emotions that we as a family were feeling. I am so thankful that I have such a devoted and wonderful wife and mother to my children. Elizabeth, you’re my best friend, my love, my soul mate, and my hero. I love you.
I want to thank Coming Home and KHON News 2 for the memories of a lifetime.
I want to thank all of our soldiers for all the sacrifices they make, and all the families that sacrifice with them.
"Coming Home" airs Sundays at 10p/9c on Lifetime