In military life, there are always moments, little and big, that make wonderful memories when we get pictures of them. These times can be easily forgotten under emotions and the rush of life and getting things back to normal or the irritation of having everything to start over again. From homecomings to moving days, these moments below are suggestions of things I am so glad or wished I’d captured. As time passes now, I try to remember to snap at least one photo of moments that will never happen again. Or ask someone else to for me!
- Deployment Day: As hard as these pictures are to take, later on they’ll become something to treasure. When Mom or Dad (or anyone special) leaves for an extended time, those minutes before they go can be overlooked.
- Homecomings: It probably goes without saying that these tend to get the most publicity. However, so many times I stood alone and watched my fiancé and then husband come home and never saw it from the outside. I wish I had more of those pictures now, and am glad I have a few of him and our daughter from the last time.
- Promotions: When your spouse gets promoted, it’s a big day. They’ve worked really hard to be at that point, and whether it’s a giant ceremony or a small gathering, it still means the same. Get pictures of their officers and friends as they all played a role in your spouse or relative moving forward in their career.
- Moving Day: Whether you loved or hated your duty station, take some pictures of where you were to remember it by. Sometimes we’ve been somewhere long enough that we forget to take shots of the things that are “everyday” – like the front of a home. Years later it’ll be fun to reminisce about those times spent in that place you called home for a while.
- Family pictures: When my daughter was about 18 months, we had a photographer take pictures of us with my husband in uniform. They are some of the most special photos we have, they truly capture what our life was like right then – his rank, her littleness, and our new life in the Army.
- Dressed up: I don’t know about other branches, but in the Marines and Army my husband has worn his dress blues/greens very rarely. It’s sort of amazing to see the amount of time it takes for them to put everything together – from the alignments of ribbons and medals to the perfection of how it all fits. Taking pictures of the process, but especially the end result, is a wonderful way to commemorate an important moment that doesn’t happen too often.
- First Days: At a new duty station? Spouse starting a new type of job? Grab your camera for pictures of what it looked like those first few days as boxes piled up and nerves were on edge. When you leave in a few years, it’ll be a good reminder of just how far you all came and that you did it once, you can do it again.
I’d love to know what your “can’t miss” moments are. The ones you have displayed proudly or wished that you’d been able to get. What ones am I missing here?