Just as the Gazette stated, there was not a dry eye. It was a moving experience capturing this event for the Krause family.
Marlina found me though an add I placed on Craigslist. She told me a little about her family and that her husband was coming back from a 1 year deployment. She wanted me to be there to take some pictures of their reunion and asked if I had a “flexible” schedule.
Sure. I have a great day job so if I am diligent there I should be able to make it to the ceremony.
Little did I know that the homecoming would be rescheduled twice. Once just because, and again because the pilot was sick. I was told that sometimes things are delayed for weeks and even into the middle of the night.
Early on the morning of the 15th I met Marlina and her children as they waited for about 250 soldiers to arrive.
The family made signs for their father and showed up early to be front and center. Noah (1 year old now) was 13 weeks old when his dad left to serve.
The event center was filled with anxious families and tons of signs welcoming home their heroes.
Over the speakers came a song that is very popular this time of year. “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood. It was at that time no one could hold back the tears of happiness and relief. Even I cried a bit. The smoke started and in they came.
If you weren't crying a bit by this time a gentleman joined his brigade with some assistance. He was came home early when he was injured by an IED.
At this point the soldiers are standing 30 feet away from their families not able to say a word or move until they are released.
Once they were released the stands cleared in seconds. The Krause family was reunited after a year apart. They have endured 5 deployments over the years.
A big thank you to the Krause family inviting me there to experience that morning with them.