My Last Tour: Rex, Liisa Reunion

SMSgt. Rex Temple and his wife, Liisa Hyvarinen Temple, in Garmisch, Ge
SMSgt. Rex Temple and his wife, Liisa Hyvarinen Temple, in Germany.
TAMPA (2009-12-07) -

They’ve shared emails, photographs and Web cam conversations. But it's been seven months since Senior Master Sergeant Rex Temple has been able to hug his wife Liisa.

That changed Sunday, when the Temples reunited at the Munich airport. They'll spend their time together in Germany. They’re staying in a resort cabin in the Bavarian Alps.

One of the first things the senior master sergeant has planned is something that he’s missed the most, besides his wife.

“I going to do a little bit of cooking,” Rex Temple said holding a spatula up to the Web cam. “Some simple grilled cheese sandwiches, but it’s a start.”

In Afghanistan, the Tampa airman’s meals are served at the dining facility or he eats a prepackaged MRE, Meals Ready to Eat.

But, cooking isn’t the only pleasure he missed. “I really missed seeing grass, seeing the trees. Because over in Afghanistan, all I see are barren mountains, dirt and sand.”

Despite being on a two-week leave, Rex Temple has not left Afghanistan behind entirely. “I’m still concerned about my friends and my teammates that are still rolling out on missions. So, I’m still trying to stay up on the news of what’s going on in Afghanistan.”

His wife, Liisa Hyvarinen Temple, understands that it is hard for him to leave his teammates. “We found a way to (get) free internet today, so he can email his captain,” Liisa Temple said. “It comes with the territory. You have to support the whole mission and that’s his team.”

The couple has shared some early Christmas gifts. She gave him Greg Mortenson’s newest book: “Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” He gave her perfume oil that he bought in Kuwait.

And, the military gave them both a gift - two extra days together.

Although we offered to leave the couple alone to enjoy their vacation, SMSgt. Temple wanted to check in again next week to share some of their vacation adventures in Germany.

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