Returning Home

2013-08-27T13:32:00Z 2013-08-27T13:55:04Z Returning HomeMamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 27, 2013 1:32 pm  • 

Service men and women of the Arizona Army National Guard, Bravo Company returned home to Tucson after a year long deployment in Afghanistan. I was assigned to photograph the arrival of these troops at the Tucson International Airport.

As I wait with the families in the baggage area I can feel their nervousness and excitement. The troops returning can be a difficult assignment sometimes because the servicemen and women walk down the stairs all at once and the initial hug with emotion can happen very fast all around you.

So I arrived early to talk to families and to try and pick out people who I think will garner the best photos.

I hadn't expected the family of Sgt. Donald Elsas to become so emotional. They seemed pretty calm while we were all waiting. But once they saw him the tears started flowing. I became a little teary-eyed as I photographed Sophia crying on her father's shoulder  airport. After taking their photo I waited a few more moments on the side to grab their names for my cutline. This photo was my favorite from that morning.

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