Lieutenant Jake Locker stood on the bow of the ship, enjoying the wind in his face and the salty sea spray, another 6 month deployment completed. The Commanding Officer begged Jake to sign up for another 4 years, saying the Navy needed good officers like him; but Jake remained steadfast in his decision. The Navy may need good officers but my wife needs a husband more. He'd dated Paige for a couple years before popping the question. They were at her parent's house for Christmas and they were decorating the Christmas Tree. Her parents knew the question was coming, because Jake had already talked to her father about asking for his daughter's hand in marriage. Jake had always gotten along well with his In-Laws, he won over Paige's mother at Thanksgiving with a home-made Pumpkin Roll that had cream cheese filling, and her father had enjoyed the deep sea fishing trip Jake took them on when the family visited him and Paige in Norfolk, Va. So when the time came to pop the question everyone knew but his Paige. He had been handing her Christmas ornaments for the tree, she had reached over her shoulder several times to accept them without looking, when Jake slipped her a Jewelry Box with a Christmas Bow on it. The look on her face was priceless and through teary eyes she gladly said yes.
That had been the start of their amazing romance, now after 4 years of marriage he'd only been around her less than 2 years because of all of the deployments and TDY's he had been sent on. Now my life truly begins.
He listened to the CO and ship's Navigator as they radioed between the tugs about to pull in. The wreath that family members had made was proudly hanging on the bow of the ship. As Jake watched and listened the dock came slowly into sight. Quickly Barking orders to attention the sailors along the sides of the ship snapped up to attention. The crew were all dressed in their summer white uniforms, as hard as they tried though Jake noticed they kept scanning the docks looking for their loved ones.
As the tugs pushed the ship into place Jake stepped back from the bow of the ship once more and began barking orders to the linesmen. " Throw the lines, Heave Boys put your backs into it." The crew jumped excitedly with anticipation, knowing once the ship was secured to the dock the CO would let the new father's off the ship first then give the order to go ashore. Jake continued to march up and down the bow giving orders and doing his best to make his 5' 9" frame appear 10 feet tall. He had lost about some weight on deployment and his uniform fit looser, but all the free time he had onboard he spent in the gym to keep himself busy. He had also gotten a haircut at their last port visit which was in Naples Italy last week, he got the standard High & Tight crew cut that he had maintained for years. Anxiously scanning the crowd he had hoped to catch a glimpse of Mrs. Locker but he knew due to her small frame she may not be able to see him, so he did his best to continue barking orders and staying close enough so that she could hear him if she couldn't see him.
Over the intercom the CO began letting off the new fathers, then the enlisted crew, because Jake was an officer he'd have to wait a bit longer, which worked to his advantage. He rushed down to the Officer's Quarters and grabbed his sea bag, He was careful to not bump it anything because he had purchased bottles of wine from France and Italy when his ship ported there. Making his way to the quarterdeck the captain began letting the officers off. Jake made his way down the quarterdeck and gang plank into the crowd of crying and laughing sailors and their families, and began looking for his wife.
((OOC Notes: the picture below is the ship I was on the day I came home from deployment, the wreath of flowers on the front is always made by wives and placed on the ship as she comes home. ))