Flew again yesterday. The flights are not all that difficult, just busy. When we got back the schedulers informed me that I was on a mission going to Ramstein the next day which would mean a chance for me to see the wife and kids, if only for twelve hours or so. I called Arlene and told her the good news. I've been around the Air Force and have flown these sorts of missions enough to know that things can change in a very short time, so I told her not to tell the kids. I didn't want to put my younger ones through the turmoil if things cancelled.
The mission did cancel late last night. I had to call Arlene this morning and give her the bad news. No one was more disappointed than I was, but that's the way things go. The guys are keeping their eyes out for missions to Germany for me. Hopefully one will come up before too much longer.
I've done long deployments before. Last summer I was gone for 132 days. The worst part about this deployment is that there's a chance that I can see them. Last summer there was no chance, so there was no expectations to crush. This seems worse. Of course, if I do get back, I'm sure the look of joy on my kids' faces will make it all worth it.
I'm reminded of a quote by Thomas Paine that helps bring meaning to all of this: "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."