“I’m an American soldier,
Beside my brothers and my sisters
I will proudly take a stand.
When liberty’s in jeopardy
I’ll always do what’s right.
I’m out here on the front line —
sleep in peace tonight.
I’m an American soldier.”
— Toby Keith, American Soldier
I don’t think I’ve ever cried editing photos before. Sure, I still get teary and emotional during every wedding ceremony I go to (that’s just my girlish heart!)…but something about these photos just pulled at my heart like no other photos before. Perhaps it’s the story behind them. Perhaps it’s the innocence in the little girls’ faces. Perhaps it’s the fact that this session took place because their Dad is helping to keep us safe.
I volunteer my services for an organization called Operation: Love Reunited. It’s a collection of photographers from across the country who offer free portrait sessions for military families before, during or after military deployment. I see it as a way to help families stay connected during the year or more apart during deployment. The deployed soldier receives a 4×6 album of photos directly from ericamay photography with photos of their family. It’s really a wonderful idea and a great way for me to share my talents with families who are sacrificing so much for our country’s freedom.
I couldn’t think of a better way to end the 4th of July weekend but by doing an OpLove session with the Sumpter girls — mom and two daughters — whose huband/daddy is currently deployed to Kuwait. The photo shoot is a surprise to their deployed soldier, who will receive a package in the next few weeks with these precious photos of his girls.
(The pink camouflage lanyard around her neck has a picture of her Daddy on the end in the shape of a dog tag. She takes it everywhere.)
(The bracelet on Mom (Kristy)’s arm is from her husband’s dog tag. She never takes it off.)