After just over 5 months of back and forth emails anticipating this day, it finally came on the last day in March! Jessica had initially emailed me back in November inquiring about whether or not I photograph homecomings for service members. This is something I have always wanted to do, so I jumped at the opportunity and couldn't wait for it to come! While I was anxiously awaiting the big day, which is unknown until the soldier has landed on American soil and when the Army will release further details, Jessica had been waiting 9 long months for her husband to return! The two newlyweds were separated last year whenever Adam was called to duty to go to the Middle East. She had been eagerly awaiting his return and I am so honored to be a part of their special day!
We arrived at the Air Force Base (just a few minutes away from the Pittsburgh Airport) after meeting at the local Sheetz (fitting since we are both former employees!). We sat and waited and waited and waited for what seemed to be forever! But we eventually started talking after time seemed to stand still and an hour passed in no time! She was texting him to find out everything that was going on at his end, since we weren't positive of when they would precisely arrive. It was a cold and dreary day with a steady rain shower. I tried to tell her to channel her inner Notebook to keep her spirits high despite the less than ideal weather. We talked about a lot of things and one was her sign that she wrote for him. The words are lyrics from Celine Dion's song, "My Heart Will Go On." Ever since Jessica was 3 years old, she has loved that song and Celine. The couple share a special meaning with the song.
Once we got the text saying the buses were on their way over from the airport, we walked up the hill to wait for them to arrive! The nerves were high and the anticipation was even greater! After 9 long months, they would finally be together again! Around the corner, the buses appeared and we knew he was on the 3rd one. Once they parked, the soldiers were flooding into the crowd from either side of the bus and we had to keep switching sides to keep a lookout. In a flash, I heard a scream and saw Jessica's poster go flying into the air! After a hug from Adam's mother, Jessica leaped into Adam's arms for the first time in a long time. It was as beautiful as a moment to witness as it was to capture. Holding back my own tears of happiness, I followed Jessica, Adam and his parents to find his luggage inside. After a short walk back down to the cars, these two were off to their first meal together-- at Burgatory.
I couldn't have been happier to celebrate this day with Jessica and Adam! It was everything I dreamed of and I hope to be able to see other's in this same experience!
Thank you Jessica and a special thank you to Adam for serving our country!