He was a cute young fresh faced kid carrying the flag in the Civil War reenactment group at Old Poway Park when I met Aaron a few months ago. I had been asked to take some photos of him, because he would soon be deploying to Afghanistan. I was more than happy to do so and you can see those photos of Aaron on my website Elizabeth Heath Photography.
As I got to know Aaron, I learned a few things about this young man that I admire so much. He was born in Burlington, Wisconsin nineteen years ago and he grew up on a dairy farm with 600 cows. He loves the smell of cows! I can't blame him. It feels or I should say smells like home for him. Aaron joined the military for a couple of reasons. For one thing it's a family tradition. Every male in his family has served in the military, and although his mom would have preferred that he join the Air Force, he decided that the Marines were for him. The second reason is that Aaron wants to be a teacher, so joining the military will help him achieve that goal. I taught school for many years and I still substitute teach, so Aaron's story really touched me. He'll make a great teacher.
In talking to Aaron I learned that he had been sick the day he was supposed to have his formal dress blues portrait taken, so he missed out. I just couldn't sit back and not do something about that, so I offered to do his dress blues photo for him. We chose Old Poway Park, since we had been there before and liked it so much. Little did we know it would be so crowded with people when we returned to do the portrait. We did manage to find an area with good light that wasn't too crowded. We enjoyed stopping each time the train came around to wave at the children. It was a fun time. Aaron was terrific. He took direction so well that it made my job that much easier. I also have to say thank you to Jerome who is part of the Civil War reenactment group and a photographer in his own right. He was a great assistant, and I could not have provided Aaron with such great portraits without his help.
I'm proud of Aaron and his willingness to put his life on the line for my freedom. As we walked back to our cars, people would stop Aaron to shake his hand and thank him for his service to our country. He will be deployed soon and my prayers will go with him for his safe return. He has my thanks and gratitude for all he is doing for his country and for me. You may see all of Aaron's dress blues portraits on my website Elizabeth Heath Photography.
Now go forth and do something for someone in the military to thank him or her for their service to our country.