Yearly Archives: 2007
These are some of my favorite images from the oplove sessions I have had the pleasure of doing for our Military. I am based out of Aloha, Oregon and I am an on-location photographer. All the images were taken in either the families home or another location like a park, zoo or gardens. I look forward to serving more families this next year. God bless and enjoy!
This morning I received an email in my inbox about Sgt. Gebhardt of Wichita, Kansas. I was very touched by the image and the description, and felt it was worth sharing. I checked the story out on Snopes.com and every part of it is true.
The email clip was fairly vague, so here is the link to the snopes.com article and what it says:
This moving photograph shows Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt, superintendent of the 22nd Wing Medical Group at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas, holding an injured Iraqi girl. The picture was taken in October 2006, while Sgt. Gebhardt was deployed to Balad Air Base in Iraq. According to the Air Force Print News, the infant girl Sgt. Gebhardt held in his arms “received extensive gunshot injuries to her head when insurgents attacked her family killing both of her parents and many of her siblings.”
Sgt. Gebhardt is now back home in Wichita, Kansas, with his wife and two children. An Air Force Link article about the sudden fame he gained as the subject of this photograph reported that:
The chief had a knack for comforting [the injured Iraqi girl] and they often would catch a cat nap together in a chair.
“I got as much enjoyment out of it as the baby did,” he said. “I reflected on my own family and life and thought about how lucky I have been.”
While deployed to Iraq, the chief tried to help out any way he could. He figured holding a baby that needed comforting that would free up one more set of arms that could be providing care to more critical patients.
“I pray for the best for the Iraqi children,” he said. “I can’t tell the difference between their kids and our kids. The Iraqi parents have the same care and compassion for their children as any American.”
We’re making waves!!
Check out this touching article @ http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2007/sep/07/capturing-memories-for-military/
(as published @ http://www.bnd.com/news/spiers/story/135312.html)
U.S. Army Maj. Dan Duvall gets a hug from his wife after returning from Kuwait on Sept. 11.
WHEN U.S. ARMY Maj. Dan Duvall came home from Kuwait on Sept. 11, his reception committee included his family as well as a professional photographer to capture the emotional moment.
Christie Kohlhaas, owner of Christie Kohlhaas Photography of Millstadt, was at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and took a series of pictures. She presented the family with a photo album to mark the occasion.
Her work is part of Operation Love ReUnited, a group that encourages professional photographers to photograph families of service people who are going to dangerous assignments or returning home.
“I was wondering how I was going to get pictures and a hug at the same time,” said Colleen Duvall, Dan’s wife.
That is one of the concerns the organization is trying to take care of, Kohlhaas said.
“You don’t have to worry about snapping pictures of the moment when you are so overcome with emotion,” she said.
Although there is no guarantee photographers won’t be overcome as well.
“It was emotional,” Kohlhaas said. “It was so cool. I think I was crying more than they were.”
She said she heard about Operation Love Reunited on a photographers’ online forum. It also was featured recently in the magazine of the Professional Photographers of America.
Photographers are required to register with the organization. The Web site: www.oplove.org, lists Kohlhaas and Caleb Heal of Caleb Heal Photography in Waterloo as the only two local photographers involved.
The organization requires photographers to offer a small album and the photo sessions for free. Participants have the option to purchase more pictures at a discounted rate.
“It takes an hour of my time and to pay for a small album and some prints is no big deal,” Kohlhaas said. “These people are giving up months of their lives.”
Colleen Duvall said she heard about the program from a fellow leader in the Girl Scouts and wants to spread the word. More publicity also might help attract more photographers to the program.
Heal said he has some appointments pending and is looking forward to participating.
“It’s something positive and I have a lot of military people in my family,” he said. “I wish I would have thought of it.”