There’s nothing like the excitement and relief of welcoming a family member or friend home from military deployment overseas. A great way to show your loved one that you’re proud they have served and happy that they’ve come safely home is by planning a homecoming party they won’t forget.
One thing you might want to think about before setting a party date is to consider waiting before asking them to face a crowd. The initial greeting home should perhaps be limited to immediate family and a quiet period of adjustment. Depending on their duty station and what their experiences may have been, they may need time to adjust to time changes, stress and getting back into a routine. Let the newness of being home wear off for a few days.
When the time is right, start off by inviting friends and relatives to the homecoming with an invitation featuring a photo of the guest of honor. Pick a site that not only accommodates the amount of guests but one that has a relaxed and familiar feeling for the returning troop.
If your guests ask if there is anything they can bring, let them help. Ask them to bring something to let your loved one catch up on things they missed while deployed. Food! Months of mess hall chow is nothing like home cooking. Every troop comes home craving some food or drink that they missed. Ask family members to make that special recipe and spoil them with a buffet of their favorite foods. Books, movies or music that may have come out while they were gone will help them get up to speed.
As decorations, display photos of events that happened while they were gone. Weddings, graduations, holidays and vacation photos will help them get a feel for what’s been going on in the family. Ask guests to bring any memorabilia that will bring a smile to their face. Set a patriotic table with a red, white and blue tablecloth and add in a welcome home sign or banner. There are some companies that offer free signs and banners as a tribute to our troops. If it’s an outdoor party you can decorate the yard with flags and yellow ribbons.
The best homecoming is family, food, lots of understanding, patience and love.