Fort Carson’s 242nd Ordnance Disposal unit expected a homecoming to Monday and every day since. They still aren't back, and their welcome-parties are on the edge of their seats.
It is great to hear a voice.
"Hey babe. What's up? It's me," a voice said from Jessica Osorio’s answering machine, Thursday.
The message is from Osorio's husband, Mario. He left it Monday, leaving Jessica about as deflated as the balloons on her floor.
"I'm a planner by nature, so I've been ready for awhile and planning this arrival," Osorio said.
She and her baby Gabriella have been waiting for Sergeant First Class Mario Osorio. His 12-month tour in Afghanistan was supposed to end Monday. Almost five days later, there was still no Mario. Jessica can wait, but not much longer.
"He didn't promise me the Oscars. He didn't promise me to take the trash out, but he did promise me breakfast this weekend," she said.
Plane trouble, bad weather and a list of other reasons have stranded Osorio in Germany. Germany is a long way from Colorado Springs, but even more importantly, it's a long way from the battlefield.
"That, at the end of the day, really makes me feel better," said Osorio.
Still, for mom and daughter, the waiting is no fun. Gabriella's about 8-months-old, and still doesn't really know dad.
"I don't think he has any idea what a bundle of joy she is," Jessica said.
A few extra days, however, do give her a chance to re-fill her balloons and come up with a little homecoming surprise.
"I don't think he'll miss us in the crowd," she said, holding up a sign with a poster-sized picture of Mario in uniform.
When he’s home, Jessica and Gabriella will no longer miss Mario.