There is nothing better in the world like meeting your daddy for the first time. Even if you are already 5 months old.Read More
It is the hardest thing for a parent to not be there for the birth of their child. But it must be a million times harder for a parent serving their country and knowing there is nothing that they can do in order to be with their loved ones during the most important time of their life. Military life is not easy. But there is no sweeter moment than coming home from a combat deployment. And there is definitely nothing like reuniting with your beautiful wife but most importantly meeting your baby daughter!Read More
This past few homecomings I have photographed have brought home hundreds of soldiers and reunited thousands of loved ones separated by 9 long months and many dusty miles. While some families have experience this before, my darling client Danielle was a newbie at this and patiently waited 266 days to see the love of her life. I couldn’t tell who was more excited and emotional about what was about to happen: Danielle or her two beautiful daughter Vivian and Cora (or me).
This time around the homecoming time was changed so many times, even delayed by weeks, that no one had any patience left, but this was the first time when I met someone who remained calm until the last moment, never losing her mind from the constant curve-balls that the Army likes to throw.
With a cool head and a longing heart, Danielle took care of her babies and patiently waited until the buses showed up and we saw them through the glass doors. I think that was the first time it truly hit. It was finally feeling real. They were back! Just minutes away from finally being reunited. This was the moment when the tears started to fill up, and the heart started pounding like crazy.
Vivian held mommy close, while Cora wondered what what the commotion all about. All until the doors opened and the troops started to march towards us. Tears streaming down everyones’ faces (including mine, even now while I write this). It was the sweetest reunion as Danielle and the girls couldn’t hold it anymore and just darted towards their dad to finally hold and kiss him! Welcome back SGT. Rodriguez!
Every homecoming is different, and yet every homecoming is the same.
A homecoming is like a bare nerve- it is sensitive, it is painful, it is pulsating, and it feel like its about to tear.
And then comes that sweet moment - a white bus off in the distance - and noise falls ... time stands still, and the atmosphere changes.
Everything changes in that precious moment - because the wait is finally over.
SPC Hall - welcome home! Gaby and Payton missed you so much!
It was the longest wait - and the most emotional return. From constant rescheduling to an emotional rollercoaster, to finally a good day - the GREATEST day!
This Friday was the day Taylor and her babies got to welcome their soldier home.
The air was filled with anticipation, and nervousness, and so much love - and as soon as a glimpse of the white bus was seen, tears started to fill up the eyes. Tears of joy and tears of relief. Tears of happiness.
Welcome home SGT Elliott!
It was 2 A.M., the air was getting crispier, temperatures falling below 30 degrees but no matter how late or cold, you could feel the wave of warmth wash over you - warmth from all the raw emotion felt by the loved ones of the soldiers coming back from a long deployment.
Time away is trying - long time away is indescribable. So it is finally time to say:
Welcome home SPC Royster! You were missed!
I absolutely love photographing homecomings.
There is nothing like it in the world - so full of raw emotion. It even gets me from time to time and I'll notice I need to wipe away the tears.
Families get put through so much during deployments, it is hard to describe to anyone who is not part of that world. The tears, the joy, the hardship and loneliness - and of course the countless days, hours, minutes, that never seem to end - but they do end and when that moment comes, there is no bigger joy than that experienced by the re-united family.
Brittini was one of the very first people I met here in Vilseck, when we moved into our house. Little did I know that only after a few short months of knowing each other her husband would deploy for a long time, leaving Brittni missing him to the moon and back.
It was almost fate that led me to the same gymnasium 9 months later where Joseph, Brittni's husband, was coming back to. When I saw Brittni there, nervous and excited all at the same time, all I wanted was to capture those precious moments of their reunion.
Welcome back SPC. Martin!
This sweet family has waited nine long months to see each other. Being deployed when your baby is only 4 months old is hard on everyone but the best part is always the reunion. Nine long months and two hours of waiting at the Vilseck Memorial Gym, Naomi and TJ couldn't stay still waiting to see Daddy again. Welcome home SPC. Covert!
My dear friend finally got her husband back from what seemed like an eternity wrapped into a deployment. The day couldn't have passed by any slower while she waited, but as she finally saw the busses roll in, it seemed like one hour flew by like a mere second.