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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!