(The sign Benjamin is holding in the above picture is inspired by google/gmail's chat interface that Dawn and I sometimes used to stay connected with one another during the deployment. If she were signed in, there would be a green dot next to her name. The two green dots represent our connection. As brilliant as her idea was, I was too sleep deprived and exhausted from the previous week's travel to get it right away.)
I have included a few pictures here of our reunion ceremony. We marched onto the field with stripped down uniforms (all ammunition and other combat equipment had previously been removed), rendered a salute to the national flag as the national anthem was played, sang the "Dog-Face Soldier" (3rd Infantry Division song), and the Army Song--then we were released to our families. That's when we really felt like singing. I confess, being home seems surreal; I keep waiting to wake from this sweet dream. Please continue to keep our Soldiers in your thoughts and prayers as we reintegrate with our families and society in general. Please continue to remember the families of our brothers killed-in-action: Matthew Zeimer, Kelly Youngblood, Forrest Waterbury, Adrian Lewis, Daniel Cagle, and Steve Butcher. Thank you for your tremendous support during this last deployment.