Welcome to Colorado Springs Daily Photo!

Hi, I'm Tamera, a professional wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer in Colorado Springs. But this blog isn't about my professional work; no, it's a daily love note to my beautiful city, where I've lived for most of my life. I love it here and I hope you enjoy seeing Colorado Springs through my eyes and lens!

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20 February 2009

Welcome home!

Colorado Springs is a military town. We have five military installations here, the most glamorous, I suppose, being the US Air Force Academy. But we also have Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, NORAD, and the largest of them all, Fort Carson (which is Army). All of this means that we have a somewhat transient population, since military families tend to get re-stationed every three years. My father was in the Air Force and was stationed at Peterson when I was 14, and the rest is history. We are lucky to have been assigned here and I'm so glad he never got stationed anywhere else after that!

There are pros and cons to having such a large military population. One of the pros is that they keep our economy going. They get a guaranteed paycheck and they never lose their jobs! So these military families spend their money in Colorado Springs, and everyone benefits.

One of the downsides of the pervasive military presence here is the war. It's very hard to see all these young men and women (some of them members of my own family) get sent off to Iraq and Afghanistan, most of them multiple times over. You just worry about them constantly, and there are reports in the news almost every week of "another Fort Carson casualty". Then there is the sad coverage of their funerals on TV, with Taps being played on the bugle, and a 21 gun salute. I gasp when I hear their ages -- some of them are so young. 19, 20, 21. Never to return from the war.

But when they do return it's a joyful thing! All the families gather together and give them a hero's welcome. My boyfriend Pat, a news photog (video) for one of the local TV channels, frequently gets the happy assignment of documenting these joyous homecomings for the evening broadcast. It always gives me a lump in my throat to see these soldiers come home, to be ecstatically greeted by their families who have missed them and worried about them so much.

The photo above was taken today, just outside the main gate of Fort Carson. There is a wall of homemade banners stretching at least two or three blocks, welcoming home loved ones. I've been wanting to photograph it for a while now. It just keeps growing.

And here is a rather funny photo of me taken by Pat as I tried to capture the scene at just the right moment. I look so serious. And it was very windy out there!


Jacob said...

Nothing like coming home. I wrote a song for the Vietnam vets in Florida that became a favorite of theirs for a time; it was called "Welcome Brother, Welcome Home."

Lois said...

Great photos Tamera! That one of you at the bottom reminds me of me when I am trying to get just the right shot for my blog! I grew up near Mayport, a huge Navy base near Jacksonville Beach and I remember the big homecoming celebrations they would throw when the aircraft carriers would come home after months at sea! I had many Navy kids as friends and it was always so sad when they would move away!

San Diego Farmgirl said...

I don't know how Pat does it. I had to start turning down military-related assignments because I couldn't keep from tearing up. I'm too tenderhearted for anything military, save for those cool Discovery Channel shows about war machines.

Love the photo of you! You're a professional, of course you look serious! :o)