Bill and Rod were met at Ft. Desoto with quite the welcoming committee today. Bill said they could hear the whistles (thank you Phil Barringer!) before they could even see anyone on the beach. Then it all started coming into focus… something red, someone jumping around in a bright yellow shirt (thank you again, Phil!). Bill’s TECO family had rolled out the “red carpet” for the guys and it was awesome!! To EVERYONE who was there, Watertribers, family, friends, you will never know how much it meant. The guys told some stories and answered some questions and Chief handed out their awards. There were a lot of pictures and video taken today, and I am sure they will get posted soon. Here are just a few.
After returning home, sheer and utter exhaustion totally overcame Bill. I think his brain told his body, “It’s over.” He made it in the house, ate the two PB&J’s I had waiting for him, and then said, “I think I am going to lay down for just a little while. Don’t let me sleep too long.” He was mumbling something about how good the bed felt and in mid-sentence was OUT!! Two hours later he was up and ready for dinner. Half way through dessert, we were taking bets as to whether or not he was going to fall asleep with the fork in his mouth. He is doing a lot of dreaming and all he sees is water when he closes his eyes. (I think I will leave a light on tonight in case he wakes up and is a little disoriented. Sure don’t want him to think he is still in the woods!!!)
And now, it is time for me to step down and turn the computer over to Bill and let him tell his story. (Once his fingers and brain start working again.) It has certainly helped me these past 27 days having this “outlet.” It has meant so much knowing so many people were along for the ride with Bill. What are we all going to do with our spare time now?!? Keep checking back as I know there will be more to come from Bill. I thank you all who have read and tolerated my ramblings and left such encouraging words. I hope I made you smile. I do have a parting picture that I believe I am forever grateful to Bob Waselewski for…
BRAVO ZULU CAPTAIN, you did it baby!!!