“Giving back to those who want nothing more than to come home.”
That’s the motto of Operation: Love Reunited – a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides free professional photography sessions to military families dealing with a deployment.
Created in 2006 by photographer & military wife Tonee Lawrence, the organization has served thousands of military families in the US and across the globe. The photography sessions and resulting gift albums help boost the morale of deployed service members, making those long months go by a little faster with captured moments to treasure. Operation: Love Reunited has been featured on NBC’s The Today Show, Nightly News, and countless magazines and newspapers for the work they do in pairing professional photographers with military servicemen facing a difficult separation from their families.
“It’s art. It’s love. It’s all made possible by artists wanting to give something back to those who make our country what it is,” Tonee says.
Our sentiments exactly, and so it is fitting that this Veterans Day 2016, Samy’s Camera Outreach is grateful to have joined the ranks of ‘OpLove’ photographers.
President Woodrow Wilson inaugurated Nov. 11 to honor “with solemn pride the heroism of those in the country’s service,” the veterans who sacrifice and do their duty to protect our national security and freedoms.
Samy’s Camera is happy to have found a way to show our appreciation.
Operation: Love Reunited offers three types of photo sessions: Pre & Mid Deployment, Homecoming, or Fallen Loved Ones. For a Pre & Mid Deployment session, photographers provide a free patriotic family portrait session, with an album of prints then shipped overseas to “look at and hold onto” their loved ones while they are separated. Homecoming Sessions capture the emotional moments of reuniting with loved ones after months apart. Fallen Loved Ones sessions provide professional prints and canvases for display at funerals or a photographer to cover the homecoming/funeral services of the fallen solider.
Samy’s Camera Outreach is honored to be a part of this incredible organization. I held our first photoshoot – a Pre Deployment session for Marine serviceman, Angel, and his beautiful family.
Angel reached out just days before his deployment. Operation: Love Reunited is approved by the Department of Defense to protect the safety of military members, so we can’t provide details of Angel’s service. But suffice to say it is an honor here at Samy’s Camera to provide this small token of our immense gratitude for his brave service in the name of all Americans.
It was a joy to see this man surrounded by his beloved and adoring family – his delightful, exceptionally well-mannered older kids, and the two youngest all scampering and smiles.
These photos are a heartfelt Thank You from all of us to his family for their sacrifice, and for you, Angel, for your service.
* If you are interested in having an OpLove session, please complete the form linked below and contact Outreach@samys.com.