Heart ‘n Home Veteran Pinning Ceremony
July was a special month for me; two of my kids’ birthdays, my 20 year wedding anniversary, and I had the privilege of attending a Heart ‘n Home Veteran Pinning Ceremony in Payette.
When Liz (one of our amazing Social Workers at Heart ‘n Home) asked me if I’d like to attend the ceremony, I was filled with excitement. Being a Veteran myself, I thought this was a great opportunity to honor those who have gone before me and took the same oath I had taken some years ago. As part of the Public Relations Team here at Heart ‘n Home, I approached Liz about the possibility of bringing my camera with me so I could take a few photographs of the ceremony. She spoke with Bob, the Veteran, and his family and they agreed it would be great to have us capture this precious occasion. Originally I was attending to watch, listen, and observe since this was my first Pinning Ceremony; now I was going to do all those things and photograph the event as well.
As the day approached I was getting more excited to be a part of this special occasion and excited for the possibilities as a photographer as well. A few days prior to the pinning I met a gentleman in our lobby named Jerry, a retired Army Lt. Col. Come to find out he is a Heart ‘n Home Volunteer and would be presenting the certificate to Bob in his Class A uniform the day of this special event.
Before I knew it Friday was here. Charlotte, our Volunteer Coordinator, picked me up in front of the office and we headed off to pick up Jerry before making our way to Bob’s house. As we pulled into Jerry’s driveway, he walked towards us in full dress uniform. As we were driving to Bob’s house, Jerry shared some stories about his military career as well as stories of his time volunteering with us. We met up with more of our staff as we pulled into Bob’s driveway. As we made our way into the house, we were greeted by four of Bob’s children and their spouses as well as his precious wife.
After a few minutes of introductions and a couple snapshots we were ready to begin. Jerry started off by reading a touching military poem to Bob as well as pinning a small American flag to his lapel. Billy, our Outreach Coach presented him with a framed certificate of appreciation; followed by Liz giving a heartfelt speech to Bob and his family. As I was taking photographs and listening to what was going on, I felt an overwhelming feeling of joy, acceptance, and sadness all at the same time. It was a very emotional experience to say the least. Many tears were shed and many laughs were had.
As Liz finished sharing, Bob decided to share some stories of his own. He began to share about his experiences serving during WWII and how he came to meet his wife 65 plus years ago. Bob served in the Navy during WWII and the memories he shared were very descriptive, just as if we were on the ship with him. He shared many stories that early Friday evening, one of my favorites was of how he and his wife met so many years ago and how they each shared their own version of how they came to be. What an amazing life they have shared together all these years and the experiences they’ve had the privilege of sharing with one another. What a pleasure it was for me to take part in such an amazing part of their lives. The ceremony to honor Bob as a Veteran is such a meaningful part of what we do here at Heart ‘n Home. Thank you to Heart ‘n Home, Bob, and his family for letting me take part of this very special occasion.
Audio and Visual Designer