I recently got to capture a very very special occasion – Michael’s homecoming from a 9 month deployment! Madalyn contacted me saying that her husband had been away for their 1st wedding anniversary and she wanted me there to capture their happy reunion at Fort Lewis. I immediately said “YES!” My dad was in the Navy, and while he did retire when I was fairly young, I still have memories of him being away, and more importantly, coming home. Kevin’s dad is still in the Navy (this is something we instantly bonded over when we first started dating) & I was fortunate enough to be there when his carrier returned after a 10 month deployment. Since it was an extended and long deployment, any Navy wives that got pregnant before they left, hand their babies while their husbands were away. Capturing dads meet their sons & daughters for the first time was one of the most emotional experiences I’ve witnessed. You can see those precious moments on the blog here: Navy Homecoming.
Watching Madalyn in anticipation of seeing her husband for the first time in 9 months was no different. Shaking, nervous, excited, the feeling of waiting for the hanger door to open was overwhelming. I felt so glad in that moment that I was able to not only relate in a small fraction of a way to how Madalyn was feeling in that moment, but also honestly to distract her a little bit! She told me about how they met in ROTC in college, and were currently living apart while she went to medical school in Arizona & Michael was stationed in Washington. Then, finally, an official blew the horn and the hanger door opened – so slowly! – and Michael and his brigade walked in. Madalyn was overcome with emotion and after a quick prayer welcoming the soldiers home, we ran to find Michael. She leaped into his arms, tears in her eyes, so happy to get to hug & kiss her husband again.
I stole Madalyn and Michael away for a few quick portraits around Fort Lewis – knowing know excited they were to just be together. I can’t thank them enough for their service to our country. Being able to capture this happy day felt like I was able to honor their sacrifice and in my own small way be a part of this bigger story. Here’s to you both & to finally enjoying your honeymoon! From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
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