November 11, 2011

Home of The Free, Because of The Brave

Today we're reminded of how lucky we are to live in America! We owe great thanks to those who put the well-being of our country before themselves, and make great sacrifices to protect us at home and abroad. Today's post is a tribute to my two favorite soldiers, Evan (my boyfriend's brother, U.S. Marines, Afghanistan), and my Pop (Grandfather, U.S. Air force, WWII).

Evan left for his 2nd deployment to Afghanistan last spring, and we counted down the days (literally) from when he left us March 21 to when he returned October 17 (6:30am to be exact).

We could not be more thrilled for him to be home again, along with his fellow Marines of 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion (North Carolina based), and 1st battalion 5th Marines (California based).

I was lucky to capture these awesome shots of his homecoming!

Welcome Home Cpl Durham!

First view of him getting off the bus at Camp Lejune. Jacksonville, NC

The best day we've all seen in seven months

 Reunited and it feels so good!

 Evan and I (don't mind my post-cry puffy eyes)

We are so Proud of You!

( can provide you with interviews and information about 1/5 while deployed.)

My Pop Nichols (My dad's father) was part of a flight crew who flew B-52 bombers during WWII. As part of my photography class in college, I double exposed two photos, one of Pop and one of an American flag. It's a pretty cool effect, and to me, it's a perfect representation of everything he stands for. Americans have a lot to be thankful for, and to start with I'm thankful for him.

Spring 2008

Fall 2011

We still have troops deployed. If you'd like to send a care package (as easy as filling a flat rate box, filling out a customs form, and paying $12 to ship it), the information is below.

To find a soldier, you can try church/business/organization outreach programs, or the links below. (Note: I haven't tested the resources below but they seem to be the real deal)

Things the soldiers may need:

gum, Lifesavers, Mints, Hard Candy
canned fruit single serving sizes,
Dried Fruit
Nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, trail mix, Beef Jerky
Power bars, Protein bars
Instant coffee, Hot cocoa mix
lemonade, tea or kool-aid mix
Propel, gatorade drink mix
travel games, cards, cross word puzzle books
long underwear
Stocking caps- dark colors
t-shirts (olive drab green, black, white)
Disposable cameras
Pop Tarts, cereal bars
Ramen noodles, instant cooking meals (Chef Boyardee)
Tuna lunch kits
Tennis Balls, sports equipment
DVDs, Magazines
Sunglasses, sunscreen
Cotton Socks- black
Fingerless gloves
Hand sanitizer, lotion, chapstick
Q-tips, tissues, moleskin, foot powder
Quart sized zip lock bags
72" boot laces
AA, AAA batteries
Small blank journals
Travel pillows, travel blanket
Bandaids & first aid kits
Envelopes and paper
Shaving cream & razors
Letters from home

- Get creative! We sent some fun stuff too like bug zappers, mouse traps, silly string, nerf footballs, jiffy pop, vacuum sealed cookies, sweedish fish, dehydrated fruit, canned chicken, family pictures, a "birthday box".

*Note: Make sure you ask the post office how to fill out the customs form because it can be tricky! If you send several boxes, it can help to both number the inside flap of the box and keep a basic list of the contents. It can take anywhere from 10 days to months to arrive, so it helps to keep it all straight!

Love our Troops, Love our Vets!

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