It's 6am Pacific Time and I've been awake for a few hours. Adjusting ten time zones can be difficult! But since everyone else is asleep, I figured I'd give everyone a quick update.
I did arrive safely back in the states and am enjoying two weeks with my family. I have never seen my son smile so widely as he did when he first saw me... so that's what "ear to ear" means! My daughter, despite only having known me the first month of her life, seems to have taken quite a fondness to me already. I'd like to think it's something special about me, but it's probably that I'm just a large version of her big brother, whom she adores. My wife is beautiful as always.
Our charter flight's arrival at Dallas was hailed with great ceremony. Fire trucks honored our return by spraying the plane with water as we passed (and all other jets held up to give us right of way to the gate). And as we left the plane we were met in the terminal by thunderous applause, lots of handshakes, and a few hugs. I'm not ordinarily a sentimental guy, but I almost cried. That unforgettable moment will stay with me throughout the rest of my military service. Thank you, Dallas Airport USO (who organized it) and thank you to everyone who takes the time to spot a service member in uniform and thank them for their service. Words cannot express how much it means to us all to know how much many people appreciate what we're doing.
Off to Disneyland!