Heartfelt Homecoming

I recently had the honor of capturing a welcome home ceremony for a newly reunited Army family.  For an Army wife who has endured many deployments and homecomings, these ceremonies should be pretty routine for me by now.  The story is generally the same – the family waits anxiously in a hangar full of people until the announcement is made that the plane is landing.  Everyone hustles outdoors to watch the dramatic landing and de-boarding of our long lost heroes.  We cram back into the hangar just in time to witness them marching with pride through the wide hangar doors.  People cheer, scream, whistle and cry – it’s an emotional rollercoaster like none other.  I’ve watched this sequence of events countless times and still get choked up regardless.  I’m actually a little teary eyed just writing this.

The most recent ceremony wasn’t different than any before.  I focused on capturing priceless photos of the wife and son eagerly awaiting the arrival of their missing soldier.  We watched him walk up to the hangar from the plane, screaming his name just in time to get a smile and nod.  We hurried back inside and found our places – ready for the grand entrance.  As a few soldiers pulled open the heavy hangar doors, the sight before my eyes had tears running down my cheeks almost immediately.  Instead of the normal formation of marching soldiers, this front row was lead by their fellow injured soldiers.  Two men walked with canes while two men pushed forward in wheelchairs.  The slowed progress of the typical march amplified the dramatic effect of this scenario, forcing everyone to really think about what these heroes have endured for us.  It seemed like time stood still as they made their way to the front of the hangar.  I saw their family members standing by so proudly, knowing that they too have sacrificed and will continue to sacrifice throughout the rest of their lives now.  I was crying freely – grateful that I had a chance to witness something as core shaking as this.  Homecomings are beautiful, wonderful experiences for military families.  Because this particular ceremony included and honored their injured troops in such a way, it was the most heartfelt yet – probably because it was led by great big {purple} hearts.

More of the photos from this Homecoming can be found on the Facebook Fanpage!

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7 thoughts on “Heartfelt Homecoming

  1. I love your pictures April and come October if you’re still doing this I’m calling upon you to do our homecoming as well plz 😉

  2. I found your blog from picket fence blogs, and wanted to let you know your photos from this ceremony were great. I bet that family was very happy with the moments you captured.

    Coincidentally, that was my husband’s homecoming too! When I saw the post I knew I had to comment.

  3. Pingback: Welcome Home Jaxon! Fort Campbell Newborn Photographer | My Pictured Moments

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