Friday, October 16, 2009

Homecoming Ceremony

It was a cold, rainy day, but the hearts of the families of a certain unit on post that evening were warm with anticipation, for their loves were about to be reunited. They had been separated for 15 months and the excitement was palpable. This is something that just cannot be understood unless one is there.

There were a lot of people at this location, and kids were running around and having fun, spouses were talking to each other, and occasionally you'd hear the cheers of excited spouses whooping that they'd see their honeys soon.

Here is the home of one certain person who was beloved of a wife, and 2 sons.

Here is just one bit of the huge crowd. I saw many people I recognized, and many more I met for the first time.

The first guys coming into the ceremony area. The crowd went wild.

He sees her.

Waving to her love.

In formation, and the anticipation was growing. Separated by mere FEET, the families were itching to get down on the floor.

Where did he go?

Back in the arms of the one she loves.

Father and son.

Meeting his newly adopted son for the first time.

First family picture in over a year.

A loving embrace.

A prayer to thank God for their safe return.

The young man tries to hoist his dad's bag.

Welcome home!

One of several gifts.

A new grill!

Ahhhh... in the chair!

Homecomings are so special. I'm often asked, do you cry at these? No, because I go into photographer-mode, I cannot get emotional, I have to stay focused because these moments are so fleeting. However, when I sit down and open these up to work on them, my throat chokes up because these families haven't seen each other in months, perhaps even over a year. The reunions are incredibly special and I'm grateful to do them. Miss P, I hope you love your pictures from your special night. I'm glad we were able to make it work out.

· The photos and other content of this publication do not imply any endorsement or recommendation by the Department of Defense.

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