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Homecoming | Maryland Family Portrait Photographer

Ahh….where do I start with this post?  Normally I begin by telling you about the people in my photos — about their families, their characters, where our session was, why they chose to have images created, all about their lives… But I feel like this time, I need to begin by writing about my own life in a way– as a military wife.  To me, the military life has proven to be tough and wonderful, and everything in between.  On the one hand, we military folks get to have experiences, real and deep experiences, in parts of the world we may not otherwise have had the opportunity to even see.  We get to meet amazing people and form solid, long-lasting friendships based on genuine kindness, a sense of community, and a common understanding of the kind of small world we are all experiencing together.  We adapt easily.  We are grateful.  We are strong.  We believe in honesty and integrity.  We are part of an incredible, complex, and unique group of dynamic and patriotic citizens who truly love and care about this phenomenal country of ours.  We work together and for each other, selflessly and compassionately.  And we are proud to be a part of it all. On the other hand, we also experience heartbreak in every way possible.  Each time we pack up our lives and move ourselves to some new town, we are leaving family, friends, and local communities we have come to love.  We get left behind when friends leave us after receiving their orders.  We, including our children, have to start over constantly….learn about new places…make new friends….miss our families. Then we have to deal with the deployment of those we love so dearly.  Each moment without them is agonizing, filled with worry, fear, and a quiet emptiness. And the ultimate — the loss of our beloved who are in harm’s way.  We have all been affected in one way or another by such loss, and the grief, at times, seems endless and unbearable.  The sacrifice is immeasurable.  Still, we are proud to be a part of the United States military, with all of it’s highs and lows.  It’s a life more fulfilling than we could have ever imagined. It’s our life.

This family…this fantastic family…is one of the greatest examples of strength, perseverance, loyalty and love that only comes from somewhere deep in the purest of hearts.  I met Paola when we first moved to Maryland and the moment we began talking, I knew that this was one gal who could take about anything that came her way.  And I was right.  Paola’s husband Todd has been deployed to the Middle East multiple times since I first met her, and she has endured those long months without him…clearly missing him and wanting him home, but also, with tremendous strength, holding her head (and her heart) high with the hope that Todd would once again be near enough for her to touch.  She also knew she had to be that pillar of strength for her three girls, making their day-to-day lives as normal as possible while at the same time gently reminding them that even though their daddy was far away, his love was always close by.  When it came time for Todd to return home, Paola asked me if I would photograph this long-awaited reunion at the airport.  I was honored to be asked to document such a moment as this and immediately and enthusiastically agreed!  I simply understood what was behind this moment in their lives and was just about as excited as they all were when the day came for Todd to come home!  Bright and early one morning, we met at the airport and I could literally feel the anticipation pouring from this beautiful bunch of girls!  We walked the long halls to Arrivals, checked Todd’s flight status, and waited…  So instead of more words….just have a look at the moment they all laid eyes on each other — once again.  And please, please remember to thank our military men and women for their selfless service to our country.  Don’t ever forget that we exist in this great country because of these remarkable people who put their very lives on the line for all of us, every – single – day.  Welcome home, Todd.

October 29, 2010 - 11:21 pm Calanthe Wilson-Pant - Kerry, such a special moment--what a contrast the home "sea of estrogen" (to quote Jeff Foxworthy) must be to the deployed environment! The ones of the couple are wonderful--but the black and white of Todd with his daughters--a-a-a-ah!

November 1, 2010 - 4:42 pm jacie lee almira - beautiful words and photos!

November 7, 2010 - 8:39 am Hollie Hanson - All I can say is WOW. And Thank You! Both to them and you and all our military. With a brother currently serving in Iraq this pulled at my heart string. There are no holding tears back when you get to see such deep emotional moments like this. Thank You!

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