ericamay photography blog: thought studio.

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A Great Independence Day Celebration: My Brother’s Home from Iraq! July 8, 2009

If you’ve been following this blog very long, you know that my older brother was deployed with the Army to Iraq for this past year. Well, he came home last week — just in time for the 4th of July! We drove to visit them in Oklahoma, welcome him home, and celebrate the 4th of July! It was awesome.

I get asked a lot why I do the Operation: Love Reunited sessions (free portraits for military families going through deployment), and it’s because of soldiers like my brother. People who leave their families, their homes, their comforts to fight and defend the freedoms that we celebrate every 4th of July. It’s because I know how important it is to have something physical, like photographs, to remind families of love and joy and warmth and smiles while they’re far away. I have an OpLove session coming your way from tonight as well…

But for now, I have a few photos that I snapped while we were visiting. I have more group shots and candids that we grabbed on our point and shoot camera, and I might post some of those if I get a chance — otherwise, if we’re Facebook friends, you’ll probably see them on there! :)

I am so proud of my big brother. He was promoted to Captain while he was in Iraq, and we couldn’t be prouder to have an American soldier in our family.

These photos mostly center around Justin’s homecoming present…

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Justin and Leslie (don’t worry, they didn’t ride in these clothes!).

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My little brother had to jump on to pretend like this is what he got for his 16th birthday. I can’t believe he’s turning 16 this weekend…

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Leslie looking cute in her riding gear:

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He looks good on that Harley. Just don’t tell him I said that. Motorcycles totally freak me out. :)

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Jumping for joy… Justin’s home! :) Ha ha. I guess my cheerleading days came in handy after all. 

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Justin, welcome home. We love you!


5 Responses to “A Great Independence Day Celebration: My Brother’s Home from Iraq!”

  1. jenifriend Says:

    sooo excited to see he’s home, erica! i have two more months until my cousin returns, and i couldn’t be more ecstatic about it! love the pictures by the way, as always. but mostly, i’m just super happy he’s home with you all. :)

  2. kasie Says:

    erica. you’ve got mad ups.
    now…show us your best hurkey.

  3. Melissa Says:

    Awesome! Can’t wait to see more…Love the one with Justin and Leslie on the bike kissing! You guys are funny!

  4. klsumpter Says:

    Welcome home Justin! So glad he is home safe where he belongs. Did you get to watch them ride in and watch the ceremony? Watching the buses and the freedom riders come through with all the flags was the best when Jason come home! It’s definitely something worth seeing even if you don’t have someone in the military. Anyways, Congrats Justin on a safe return home!!! We all appreciate what you do for us.

    PS – love everyone’s expressions in the jump photo. Cracks me up!

  5. Melissa B Says:

    Great pictures Erica! I can so relate on having a brother in Iraq. Mine left in May for his 3rd and hopefully final tour. This tour is schedule to last for 18 months – the longest yet. I’m so proud of what he does, but it’s still tough. What you do for the military families is so wonderful. Call if you ever want a tag a long photog on one of these to help out. Would love to be a part of it all.

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