Sometimes photos just happen for a reason, you don’t know why or when but afterward it hits you. This photo did it to me today. If I hadn’t arrived late to this home coming I probably wouldn’t have this photo. If I had gone to the “right” location to begin with I would have different photos, but for whatever reason I turned left when I should have turned right; so to speak.
There was some confusion as to time of arrival today and when I pulled up to the gate of the base I knew things were already underway so the rushing into each others arms photos were not going to be mine and it meant that I would have to work a little harder to find a good photo. I was frustrated and feeling like I missed it. I saw fellow photogs Sean Elliott of the New London Day there; he was on time, early even. And Jim Michaud of the Manchester Journal Inquirer, he was on time, too. Everywhere I looked I felt I was one step late, I was standing alone looking around at the dwindling crowd when the corner of my eye caught a soldier walking to the left and he had a smile on his face, the kind of smile that lights up your eyes. I glanced to my right and saw a gentlemen walking up with an expression of relief and happiness on his face. The two men embraced and held one another for a while. I gave them space and shot with a wide angle lens as they patted each other and spoke softly. I approached them and asked for their names and if they were father and son, they answered yes.
I could tell, it was the same way my dad and I hugged one another. I lost my dad on Easter Sunday, I miss those hugs everyday. The photo didn’t affect me as I took it, or even shortly after, but while I was editing in the car, it hit me, hard. So in some way I think there was a reason for me to be late today, a reason to take this photo, a reason to share a hug with my dad through Adam and John.
Welcome home 143rd, welcome home and thank you for your service.