This military homecoming was a very special honor for me to photograph! I've asked Lauren to share a little bit their story, this is one you don't want to skip over. It also touches on the the deployment life. So kick back and have a read! My beautiful Blog guest, Lauren, thank you for sharing with us!
Dylan and I met on instagram - yep, you read that right! We spent a few weeks talking before I reluctantly agreed to dinner (can ya blame a girl?). I stood waiting at the restaurant we’d agreed to & the moment I heard the door close behind me, I turned around and I swear time stopped. I know, super cliche but so true. I knew that night that I was going to fall in love with this man.
Fast forward and before we could believe it, deployment was upon us. I can’t speak for Dylan’s side of the experience, and the sacrifices our service members make are truly heroic. For me, though, deployment was a lot like holding my breath underwater. Deployments are scary, and knowing that he was in a combat zone amplified those fears tenfold. The moment he turned away from me and got on the bus to leave, I took a deep breath in, and it felt like I didn’t let it out for 211 days. You are constantly on edge, constantly worrying, constantly praying, hoping and wishing that he is safe and protected and okay, physically and emotionally. Sleep was hard, and my phone was glued to my side 24/7. I won’t bore you with the details, but time becomes a funny thing, both your enemy and your best friend - each minute that passes pulls you one minute further from the last time you saw your person and yet one minute closer to reuniting with them again.
After seven long months, homecoming was upon us. I knew I wanted a photographer there so that I didn’t have to worry about capturing the moment myself, and after a few emails back and forth, I knew Katherine was our girl. She so patiently waited with me at the homecoming site for what seemed like FOREVER (thank you again for your patience, Katherine!). When the buses finally turned the corner, every fear and emotion I’d been holding back for 7 months came flooding through - I took a really deep breath, and finally let it out.
There aren’t words to describe the first moment you see your person after so long apart, but I finally felt complete. My whole heart was back again, the pieces fell into place and the moments that I spent months dreaming about were, in reality, more than I ever could have imagined. And we will never, ever take a single moment together for granted.