When Ashley contacted me about capturing her husband Justin's homecoming, it was 4 days before (totally normal for homecomings) and I was deathly sick in bed with bronchitis. However, I had faith that with rest and meds I would heal in time, so I let her know that I would be honored to capture the event. I am so incredibly thankful I did, because after 6 months apart, their 4-year-old daughter Savannah had the BEST reaction to daddy's arrival!
We had about an hour after arriving on base to find the airstrip and get to where we needed to be. This gave Savannah time to color, have a snack, and dance around with little American flags before the plane landed. This was the perfect amount of time to get the wiggles out but not too much time for her to get bored.
Ashley is SUCH a good momma!
Savannah proudly showed off the sign that she had made for daddy that morning. It truly was the best day EVER!
Oops just a little leftover paint from making daddy's sign.
The moment she spotted her daddy, Savannah could not contain her joy! She screamed and jumped up and down and ran for the gate, almost knocking him over. Best. Reaction. EVER!
Never letting him go again.
His whole world.
Home at last.
"Is that your bag, daddy? I got it!"
After all the excitement of the big arrival, I love to see this look of peace wash over a family's faces.
They are together again and all is back as it should be.
When we got back to the car, Savannah wanted to make sure daddy got a good look at the sign she made for him. He said something like, "This is the BEST sign I have EVER seen!" and she visibly swelled with pride.
While deployed, Justin was able to pick up a special gift for his daughter. After he put it around her little neck, she said, "I never want to take it off!"
It truly was an honor being a part of the Sexton family's special day. As I am typing this blog on Memorial Day, I am remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and were unable to reunite with their loved ones. These images are precious, but what they represent (time away from loved ones and a willingness to serve for our freedom) is the most precious gift of all. Justin Sexton, thank you so much for your service, sir. And welcome home.