Hero | Operation Love Photographer

Oct 15, 2012

I met this family this summer when they contacted me about Operation Love. Wade was home on R&R and Heather asked me to photograph the whole family while he was home.

When I learned their story, I was so touched. Wade has been deployed during the first year of both of his children’s lives. He missed the first smiles, the first giggles, the first crawls.

I find myself trying to imagine what it would be like to be a wife of a deployed soldier, let alone the soldier himself. The courage and strength it takes to be a family, while deployed absolutely floors me.

 I am so thankful that I was asked to photograph Wade’s homecoming. Watching Heather and the children before Wade arrived brought tears to my eyes. You could cut the anticipation with a knife.

 Watching everyone’s eyes light up when they saw their Daddy was so amazing. Little Chloe recognized her daddy. She had lots of smiles for him, and loved to play with the badges on his uniform

 There are still a lot of things Wade hasn’t missed. Chloe waited to start walking until daddy returned home. Caleb gets to take his daddy to preschool with him, and play catch. Every day. Jaden gets to have Wade at his hockey games, and have him help with homework. Heather gets her husband back. Finally. There are so many firsts that this family will have together. Heather and Wade, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of such an amazing time in your lives.

Thank you both for your sacrifices you make for our country.

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Nicole Spangler Photography