Thursday Lunch Break: Coming Home

Every Thursday at exaqueo, we make sure to take a break and enjoy real life. Here's this Thursday's Lunch Break:This Thursday, I watched a video over lunch that resonated past and present. I didn't grow up in a true military family. One of my grandfathers served but my Dad was a teacher (ironically at the Valley Forge Military Academy) so he was never called up during Vietnam. But when my Dad was born, his father was overseas serving. My exposure to the military however, was minimal. But as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech--one of only two schools in the country with a Corps of Cadets--my eyes were opened. Cadets had their own dorms, strict rules, and an admirable presence at our football games. More importantly, they represent the Hokies in every branch of the service. Fast forward a few years later and I'm waxing poetic about Virginia Tech to my cousin Mandy who falls in love with the campus and the school the second the car stops amongst the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains.

She also fell in love another way--with a young cadet from a military family. And when Rich proposed right before she graduated--he would soon be deployed--I confessed my worries to Mandy's Dad. "Getting married right out of college is a disaster," I said.

This, based on the numerous divorces I had seen amongst my friends. Fast forward again, and Mandy's getting ready to have her first baby next week. And Rich is just back from another deployment. Just in time. I was wrong about the marrying early thing. In a few days, my aunt and uncle head west to Hawaii where Rich and Mandy are based and they will meet their first grandchild.

I already shipped over some Hokie gear--newborns look adorable in maroon and orange. Another little fan, another Dad home, another chance for a husband and wife to fall in love all over again.

Here's Thursday's lunch break: a video to make you feel good. Click below on the first screenshot to watch. (Warning: tissues required).




Mandy and Rich, before his most recent deployment.






Cpl. Robert C. Strayer May 16, 1945 dental trailer



While deployed: Cpl. Robert C. Strayer in the Dental Clinic, 1945








Muriel Strayer and Baby John


My Dad as a newborn, and his Mom Muriel; this is the photo she sent to her husband, my grandfather, so he could see his newborn son while on an overseas deployment. The flowers on the bedside table are from my grandfather.





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