Week 49 – Brent & Stephanie

I absolutely love those surprise soldier homecomings or reunions at sporting events. Sometimes I see them on ESPN and think, “dang, wish I was there”. They move me.

On Friday night (July 26th), my wife and daughter and I went to the Omaha Storm Chasers game. While I was walking back to my seat, I overheard the between inning quiz/interview with a wife of a U.S. soldier. She was asked a number of questions and at the end she was asked what she would want to say to her husband, who is deployed overseas.  She said something to the effect of, “Love you and I can’t wait to see you in a week”. Of course the announcer said, “why wait, tell him now…he is here tonight!” They hug, kiss and everyone applauds.

Almost immediately, I headed over to the top of their section and waited for them (as I suspected, they decided not to stay for the rest of the game!)

When the couple walked up, I introduced myself and my Giving50x52 journey and my request that they be my week 49. They agreed.

Brent & Stephanie_2Brent, from Georgia, just returned from 8 months in Afghanistan. He is in the Marines. His wife is Stephanie and they were officially married in December, but they said a true ceremony is yet to happen…likely this fall.

They met while Stephanie was travelling with the USO in Twentynine Palms, CA.

Stephanie’s dad is retired military and their family moved around a lot, but Papillion has been home for the past ten years and is where her father retired.

I’m proud of and appreciative of our military personnel. These surprise homecomings captivate the emotion of the separation, and the reconnection, with their family.

Brent, I salute your service to our nation…and Stephanie, I applaud your strength and support.

I was honored to meet both of you!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Below is an e-mail I received from Stephanie on July 31st:

Hi! This is Brent and Stephanie from the Omaha Storm Chasers game. We are so thankful to be a part of your 52 weeks of giving. We wanted to let you know how much it meant to us that our reunion touched your heart, the way it touched ours. We apologize for the delay in writing to you, but we have been on the road for the last 5 days. Our journey is taking us to Albany, Georgia, where Brent is now stationed. It was my last night in Nebraska, and I had planned to spend it with my family prior to leaving the state to meet Brent the following week. He was “scheduled” to return on my birthday (August 3rd), but had been planning with my family all along to sneak up on me at the game! I have watched so many of those homecoming videos, and always had Brent watch them along with me…it was my way of getting through the deployment. I’m so glad we were able to have a moment of our own…it was definitely an unexpected surprise of a lifetime for me. We are so glad you were able to share in it with us. We wanted to let you know that your gift was put to good use. We used the $50 to assist in getting Brent home to reunite with his children…another long awaited, special moment for our family. Thank you so much for all that you are doing. I imagine you have touched so many lives this year; even more than the 52 people you have crossed paths with. What a wonderful example you are setting for so many. We were touched and inspired by your kindness, and look forward to following your continued journey of giving.
All the best,
Brent and Stephanie

2 thoughts on “Week 49 – Brent & Stephanie

  1. Love this story! My nephew just returned from a year deployed in the Middle East with the U.S. Army, so this resonates close to home. Stephanie and Brent’s follow-up letter was particularly nice.

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