I was excited today to welcome back home a good buddy of mine, SSG Chris Henry, from his year long deployment from Afghanistan.
Chris and I have been good friends since high school and spent many a drills together when he joined the National Guard a few years after me. It was so great to be at the welcome home ceremony to see Chris embrace his wife Sabine for the first time in a very long time.
What makes their story so special is that Sabine is actually from the Netherlands and she has been trying to get her visa approved to be here in the U.S. She was supposed to be here months ago, but things kept getting delayed. Then by a pure miracle it finally got approved just two days before Chris was due to be home. Talk about good timing, right? I thought their story was so cool that I asked Sabine to share the story of how they met and what she’s gone through to have her man serving overseas.
The Story of Chris and Sabine.
It was November 2006 and I was visiting at my step-moms who is a nail stylist in the U.S. A girl that came over to her to get her nails done ( Amy) took me out and that’s when Chris and I started to hang out. I was there for a week and had to go back to The Netherlands. Chris and I talked on MSN chat a lot but one day he figured out my cell phone number and called me. February 2007 I went to Chris for a week to spend time with him for his birthday. After that it was back on MSN and phone to stay in contact.
In April 2007 he came over to Holland to meet my family and to see the Netherlands. (he had a big culture shock but liked it very much). After that visit he had to go back to the states and again we were back on the computer and phone. Our phone bills were very expensive but so worth it. The summer I was with Chris for 3 weeks around august 2007. It was the first time we would spend more than a week together
Between April and August 2007 Chris was very busy with asking my mom and dad for my hand and he proposed to me on my fathers birthday. The evening had some mixed up feelings because Chris’ mom received the news that she had breast cancer. She is doing good now 2 years cancer free. It was hard times because I had to go back to the Netherlands and Chris had to deal with the illness of his mom. I wish I could have been there in for him and his family. It was November 2007 that Chris told me on the phone he was going to be deploying at the end of 2008.
Here Comes the Bride
We got married January 8th 2008 in the Netherlands. After our wedding I had 3 weeks summer vacations and couldn’t stand it, that I was going to see my husband for just 3 weeks before he was going to be deployed. My job is at a clothing store as a store manager and I talked to my boss about the whole situation that Chris and I were in. My boss gave the thumbs up for me to be with Chris for 3 months which was June, July, and August. In that 3 months we had our second wedding for family and friends in America which was the 5th of July 2008. After the amazing 3 months I had to go back. It was very very hard because I didn’t know when we would see each other again.
We had a little luck because Chris was home after intensive training in the US before he left for his missions. It turned out that he was going to be home for a week in November 2008 and I took a week of to see him and to say bye. When I was about the leave Holland to go see him he told me he was going to be home for 2 days. It was horrible. I flew in on a Sunday i think it was, fought my jet lag to spend time and we went out for dinner with some friends that night. The next morning Chris had to pack his stuff and we drove to Fort Riley. When we were there we heard that he was leaving that night. It was the hardest good bye EVER!!!
Months were flying by; very stressful months. And April 2009 he was home for his R&R for 2 weeks. We finally were going to see each other again. It was super, we spent all the time we had together and family and friends. After the 2 weeks Chris left one day before me..he was going back to his missions and I was flying back to the Netherlands. Now it is getting real close for us to be together forever….FINALLY!!!!
Welcome Home Chris
That day has finally arrived. I was so glad and thankful to be there and witness this special homecoming. God bless those that have sacrificed for our country and always remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice. God Bless America!