Salute to Spouses Blog

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Navy Command Plays Santa and Sends Dad Home For Christmas

Being a military spouse makes you jaded.

You always assume your husband will come home too late for dinner. 

He will likely be deployed for your birthday.  Again.

He won’t get a promotion even when he deserves it.  He won’t get leave, even when he deserves it.  He won’t get to send e-mails or phone calls during deployments, even when he deserves it.

Granted, the Navy has been good to us.  I can’t complain.

Yes, he’s been deployed a ton.  But he’s had early promotions, and even though he’s missed Christmases and Thanksgivings and birthdays and anniversaries, he’s also been home for some.

It’s not all bad.

But he has missed a lot.  And there’s not a darn thing we can do about it.

So when he deployed just a few hours after the birth of our third child, I assumed that was it. 

We were lucky he had been here at all, and that was where our luck would run out. 

Or so I thought.

Until the day before Christmas Eve.

When I got a phone call from the man I was married to who was supposed to be under the ocean.

He was coming home.

For Christmas.


I was flabbergasted.

The opportunity arose, and because my husband is a good sailor, who has given his command a lot, and always does more than is asked of him, he was allowed to leave the deployment and take his paternity leave. 

His shipmates pushed for him to go, covered for him and took on his duties so he could leave.  They wanted him to go home and spend the holiday with the baby he had held for a few minutes before he had to leave him.

It was an amazing gift from the brothers he’s served for with for years.  Both he and I were touched beyond measure.

I can’t explain how rare this is.  In my husband’s command, this never happens.  In the submarine fleet, this never happens.  In the Navy, this pretty much never happens.

I had a few friends and even my 4-year-old ask me if Santa might surprise us all and bring him home.  I laughed, pushed it off, and tried to explain how that just doesn’t happen.

But, it did.  It did happen.

My husband came home for Christmas.

What an incredible treat and an incredible honor, and what a testament to this life we lead as we head into the new year.

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