A Military Homecoming {Melyna Fang Portraits, North Phoenix Photographer}

12:20 AM



It has been on my heart for a while to photograph a military homecoming, but the opportunity just hadn't presented itself since the only people I knew in the military did not live close to me. Fortunately, I was finally presented that opportunity almost two weeks ago at the Tucson International Airport.

Lauren and Sergeant Billy were high school sweethearts in a small town in Illinois (and coincidentally, Billy grew up in the same part of Kentucky as I, and is a UK fan like 95% of my friends and family). They broke up briefly during college, but ended up back together after all, and have been married for nearly 7 years. Billy joined the Air Force and received his first orders to go to Okinawa, Japan (which happens to be where they met their sweet friend, Christina, of ChristinaBarnumPhoto.com, who referred Lauren to me....thanks, Christina!). He was then stationed in Tucson in 2010, and they had Liam the next year. About 5 months ago, Billy was deployed for the first time to the Middle East, and Lauren & Liam have been anxiously awaiting his return ever since.

I can't imagine how hard it must be to send your husband off to a dangerous part of the world for months at a time...And so hard for a man to leave his wife alone with their toddler to grow and change and learn new things without him. Families like these are the backbone of this country. They sacrifice their peace of mind and family life in order to serve, protect, & defend this country and Constitution. Being there to witness his homecoming was such an honor for me. Thank you for your service, Billy, and your sacrifice, Lauren and Liam! What a beautiful family!
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When Lauren and Liam arrived at the airport, she had expected to go to the airline to get a pass for family of arriving military to go through security and wait for Billy at the gate. However, there was no one working at the desk. She was told to call an internal airport number for assistance, but apparently, there were no departing flights the rest of the night, and no employees around to get her the passes. So, she and Liam got to wander the airport, killing time till Billy's flight got in. Once Billy's plane landed, excitement, hugs, kisses, & happy tears ensued.
















 






 





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