I am proud to say that my application was approved and I am now an official
Operation Love ReUnited Photographer!!
I first heard of Operation: Love ReUnited through a photography forum about a year ago. I thought it was a really great organization, however since I wasn't in business, I didn't feel ready to participate. But living in the Hampton Roads area, we are surrounded by military installations and I have never forgotten it in the months since launching my business. Imagine my surprise when I found that there aren't very many photographers in this area who are part of this organization!
Many of my friends and fellow mommies are the wives of service members and I hear often about their husband's schedules and deployments and how their children are dealing with their Daddy being away for such a long time. I was a military wife once (before we had children) and remember well how difficult those deployments were. Those with children feel that separation even more deeply and I respect Military Wives (yes, I capitalized that for a reason!) almost as much as I respect their husbands' service to our country. There is no greater sacrifice than that of an American service member and hope that my gift to them can somehow help ease the pain of being away from their families while defending the freedoms we enjoy every day.
Here is an excerpt from the OpLove website:
If you have ever been through a military deployment, there are no words to explain how hard it is to send the father or mother of your children off to some foreign, dangerous land, leaving you all behind…. Alone. And, it’s indescribable to watch their faces light up as their mother or father comes up the stairs of the airport after months, possibly a year or more, of not hugging each other. Emotions fly through the main lobby, it’s so very good to have them home. Your base’s Family Support Squadron will help you with your deployment. But the last thing on your mind when your wife or husband arrives home after a 4 to 18 month tour, is capturing all this love– on film. Most people are so overwhelmed with emotions they forget to simply point and shoot the camera they are grasping of their child’s first hug, or that single tear of relief from a mother being able to hold her twenty year old son again. With the help of Operation: Love ReUnited and local photographers near your base, you can.
How OpLove Works
Operation: Love ReUnited is a group made up of photographers who donate patriotic-themed sessions and albums to Warfighters - Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines - who are deploying for an overseas tour of duty, already deployed overseas, or returning home from an overseas deployment.
The program is pretty simple. To participate, use the OpLove Member Locator to find a participating photographer near you. Contact that photographer, tell them you’re preparing for or undergoing a deployment, and that you’d like to be photographed under the OpLove program. The photographer will schedule your session (time and resources permitting). Download and fill out the OpLove Client Form, and email it to the photographer. Also wear your uniform (dress or duty), and bring any other elements you want included - knapsack, sword, etc.
Every photographer is a little different, so ask your photographer what happens after your session. In a few weeks to a few months, an album of the images from your session will be sent to your Warfighter, at home or abroad!