My son just went back to base after spending the last week home on leave. Looking back on the days we had together, I just can't imagine how it could have went better. We spent the first two days just sitting on the porch catching each other up on all that had happened in his life, and at home, for the last year. He entertained us with stories about the deployment and pictures of the far away places he had been to. It seems he had a grand adventure into parts of the world that I will never see.
He has a twin brother who was also here for the week, and the three of us went on a two day fishing trip. We river fished for oppelousa catfish and were fortunate enough to catch 2 big ones! The weather was perfect, low 80's and sunny in the daytime and low 60's at night. No bugs, good food (cooked on my cowboy wok), lots of fish caught, great times, and lots of fun and jokes made it a memorable fishing trip.
His brother went back to New England with him on reports that the job market there was somewhat better than here at home. I also think that the whole twin thing had left both of them feeling incomplete for the last three years. They will be sharing the rent, and seemed excited to be back together again. So, the wife and I have the emptiest nest we have had for over 32 years. While our closest child is now 450 miles away, the twins are almost 2,000 miles from us! We've never had both of them so far away.
I think my son will probably re-enlist. He's thinking seriously about making the Navy a career. I don't know how they stand it cooped up inside a 300 foot long steel pipe. And it will be hard having him so far away all the time while his mother and I grow old, but I want the best for him and we couldn't possibly be more proud if he decides to stay in.