Late Night Military Homecoming | Zimmer Family

Every homecoming has a little bit of chaos, and this 1 a.m. reunion aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton was no different.

Knowing she’d have to wake the kids up in the middle of the night, Wariya and I timed it perfectly and arrived to the hangar literally five minutes before the busses rolled up. The Marines got off the busses and, instead of getting into formation, immediately found their loved ones.

It was pure chaos.

We didn’t want to move too far - their oldest was freezing, wrapped like a burrito in a blanket - so we stayed put as families reunited around us. The energy in the air crackled. Maybe it was because of the time or the surprising chill in the air or the fact that everyone was feeling a bit lost.

Finally, Wariya knelt down and said softly, “look!” Their daughter sprinted over to her dad, kneeling down with his arms wide open, shouting, “daddy!”

When they hugged, when we saw him, I think we all took a deep breath. The energy abated and here they were, together again.