If there is one place that our hearts keep returning, it's Huntsville, Alabama. Maybe it's the people, maybe it's the way the Southern hospitality refreshes us like a tall glass of sweet tea...or maybe it's the fact that Pete's training keeps taking us back there every now and then! Whatever the reason, both of us are always looking for an opportunity to go back. We thought that our opportunities were behind us as Pete's military career draws to a close, but we might have been wrong!
Finally, after several years of constant pain, Pete's shoulder is well enough so he's actually making good on the oft-put-off plan of applying for Warrant Officer Candidate School. In the past he's either been deployed or in too much pain to even be able to take a PT test, but now...well now he's ready! And even though he thought his age and time in service would require a waiver, it doesn't, so he's fully qualified--it's all just a matter of putting in the application!
The icing on the cake was hearing the excitement in Pete's voice on Sunday as we bade farewell to a couple (and their unborn son) we've become close to through the church here. Mike and Ela are moving to Anniston, Alabama, and Ela was in dire need of more encouragement to settle her soul for her first "real" move. She is Polish, and the idea of moving to not only a foreign land but a place that neither of them know anything about was overwhelming to her. As we talked (and heaped on the praise for another of our "favorite" Alabama cities), Mike expressed to Pete that he has paperwork submitted for a more permanent job in Huntsville, and Pete just lit up like a Christmas tree! He hasn't spoken of Huntsville in a long time, and it seemed that Mike opened a floodgate! Pete is now saying he NEEDS to get back there, he just misses it so much, and he told me today that he's hoping to have that Warrant Officer packet submitted for the next selection board! Yippee!!!
Of course this doesn't mean a "permanent" assignment to Redstone Arsenal, but even a 3-4 month stay there would be food for our souls, especially now with Jon so set on enlisting! If it all lines up (oh, PLEASE, Lord!!), we could be in Huntsville when Jon enlists and we won't be a 13-hour plane trip away when our firstborn graduates from basic training!
I think seeing the numbers dwindling so drastically every week at church is taking its toll on us; homesickness is setting in. I think even Pete is ready to go back "home".