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Hold on to what's important by chris-stahl Hold on to what's important by chris-stahl
I debated for a very long time before deciding to post this photo.

It's always a photographer's mission to be unnoticed so that they can capture life as it happens without someone feeling the need to pose for the camera. On June 5th, 2011 the Soldiers of the 1484th Transportation Company of the Ohio Army National Guard boarded a plane that would take them away from their families for a year. In the hours prior to that, I was privileged to be a part of the departure ceremonies and to photograph what took place.

I almost didn't take this picture. As it was, I had to turn away afterwards and wipe tears from my eyes.

If I could say anything to this Soldier and his son I would say, "Don't worry. You're going with a great group of Soldiers. I know that the separation will be hard but it will be over before you know it. And the next hug will probably have some tears involved as well. But they will be tears of joy."

Please support our Soldiers.

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:iconsalmaimn:
salmaimn Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015
why don't you make photos of Real Soldier like Charles Dyer and others who joined Militia
 the one that does not agree to go and murder children in arab and afghan lands just because his general told him there is osamabinladen somewhere out there?
why?
great picture btw. first looked at it (without reading description) i thought "this man has returned home. he hugs his son but the image of a dead arab or afghan child that he murdered (maybe accidently) is still in front of him".
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:icon1pen:
1pen Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Professional Photographer
Your excellent work has been featured here: fav.me/d6kr0bw
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:iconpeacekeeperd:
PeaceKeeperd Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
"A soldier is not a man with a gun. A soldier is a not man who's soul purpose is to follow orders and kill the enemy. A soldier is a man who's heart belongs to the love of his life, the family he had helped raise, and the nation he went to serve. A soldier is a human being with a heart. A heart that beats for everything he loves..."
-Written in a mock speech I made.

These men and women sacrifice everything for us, the people and the nation.

Before they go, before they put themselves in harms way... they must say goodbye to their families. I can't imagine. But, you know, it's all worth it when he comes back home. :)

To all men and women serving in all branches of the US military, I thank you for everything that you have done to keep us and others safe. Love you guys...
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:iconbigmikeattt:
BigMikeAtTt Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
WOW that is sad, because a soldier is not a number with a rifle. There are people, childs, behind him.

It is easy to make nice shots of landscape or animals, but this here must be the hardest way.
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:icontheliiztheory:
TheLiizTheory Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Student Digital Artist
God bless all of our troops.
This made a few tears fall, very nice.
:heart:
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the kind words.
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:icontheliiztheory:
TheLiizTheory Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Anytime, it is truly beautiful. :heart:
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:iconiytj:
iytj Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
so powerful and emotional!! excellent capture!:clap:
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
It was a pretty emotional day. This one is from about an hour later.
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:iconiytj:
iytj Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
:nod:
oh my!!hope you are all ok,guys!!:pray:
please take care!
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:iconcryptcrawler:
Cryptcrawler Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
People should know what kind of unreal sacrifice this truely is and what heroes these people really are.
God bless our troops and God bless America
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for your support!
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:iconphotographsbybri:
PhotographsByBri Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
This literally brings tears to my eyes, what a capture. :heart:
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
It was a tough choice to post it but I'm grateful for all of the positive responses it has generated.
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:iconphotographsbybri:
PhotographsByBri Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
Glad that you did.
I don't think that anyone in their right mind could give negative feedback to that.
Thank You for all that you do. :D
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:icondramira-official:
Dramira-Official Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
What a amazing moment to capture. I read that you almost didn't post this, but I'm glad you did. This is something most of the world won't see when they think of a soldier or see him photographed out after he's been deployed. It's such an honest, deep, touching moment.
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you! With all the positive feedback that this photo received, I'm glad I posted it too.
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:iconyellowbronco:
yellowbronco Featured By Owner May 18, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
im crying on this one, sad because i missed so much of my kids lives
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I hear ya!
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:iconprincecharmingloki:
PrinceCharmingLoki Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012
Such a emotive picture. It is so beautiful and yet so sad :tears:
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:icontanikel:
tanikel Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2012   Photographer
Thanks for sharing this photo! A hard moment to capture, but an important one nonetheless.

I think it captured the reason we go out- those that we care about. I'm not looking forward to when my son is old enough to understand this and react like that man's son. =c
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:icona-u-r-o-r-a-s-k-y:
A-u-r-o-r-a-s-k-y Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Student General Artist
:'( This is just touching. But the good thing is that not all soldiers die in wars, so I'm sure they will have billions and millions of hugs when it all ends
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:iconjalu3:
jalu3 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011
Citizen Soldiers, don't only have their families that they are leaving, but many are important parts of their communities whether they be police officers, fire fighters, the person who serves you that much needed cup of coffee in the morning.
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:iconrevburnsie:
RevBurnsie Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I have to say that I almost had tears in my own eyes when I saw this photo. Beautiful capture of an honest moment.
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you.
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:iconbloodxmess:
bloodxmess Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011
That actually brought a tear to my eye. Love it, really captures the emotion. <3
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm glad that I wasn't the only one!
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:iconnmvb:
Nmvb Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2011
The only thing worth living for... our FAMILY!!
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
The only thing worth living for: that which you deem worth living for.
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:iconinhonoredglory:
inhonoredglory Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011  Student General Artist
Thank you for supporting our troops! And, yes, what a heart-wrenching photo. So full of meaning.
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the kind words.
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:iconinhonoredglory:
inhonoredglory Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011  Student General Artist
You're most welcome. :)
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:iconaaaa0000aaaaa:
aaaa0000aaaaa Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
............................... : (
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Not to worry. Have been talking with my troops and they are doing quite well on their mission. Of course, they still miss their families but, c'est la vie.
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:icontaofox:
TaoFox Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011
I cried when I saw this. A very touching photo ♥
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you.
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
:salute:
Powerful, great photo. Thank you for taking and sharing this.
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconproxytrooper:
proxytrooper Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
War isnt a nice thing...
I am in the Army as well, the german one, and here normal people are spitting on you, as a soldier, while walking through the city, you are getting called "idiot", "maggot", "useless shit" etc, also people are saying, we soldiers, are just sittin arround, taking the money normal people earn and are doing nothing.. but when the day come, germany gets attacked those guys will tell us gods...
Its a shame for this country that the ones who would defend it with their lives are handeled like crap and stuff... BIG ups for the american patriotism I am missing in this country. (that should NOT!! mean that I am a kind of nazi or somethin! NEVER!)

As opticsnake said, support our troops, worldwide.. not every country has the same opinion, but as long as we are fighting for a good thing, it is ok..
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow! I had no idea it was like that for you German Soldiers! I remember working with a few of you guys back in 1992 in Frankfurt, Germany. Your troops were always very professional and friendly to us. I'm sorry that your countrymen and women don't have the same respect and admiration for the sacrifices that you make as Americans do. Not to bash on you but, there are some times when I just don't understand the EU mentality.

At the very least, know that those of us here in the States (or at least, this guy here) appreciate the Soldiers in ALL of our friendly countries.
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:iconmelancholy-cicero:
Melancholy-cicero Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Such raw emotion!
As an Army Wife I'm glad you captured this moment. It's a good and very accurate representation of the lives our soldiers and their families live.
Thank you for being brave and taking this photo
:salute:
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the wonderful comment!
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:iconsubida:
Subida Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
So emotional... Thanks for posting.
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the comment and the :+fav: !
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:iconsubida:
Subida Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome!
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:iconllamachooken:
LlamaChooken Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
This is stunning. Have to admit I've had to wipe away tears myself...
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you. And thanks for the :+fav:
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:iconsistene:
Sistene Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
This is so touching, I love it :happycry:
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:iconchris-stahl:
chris-stahl Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconsistene:
Sistene Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
No problem! :)
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Details

Submitted on
July 16, 2011
Image Size
5.9 MB
Resolution
4752×3168
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
1,888
Favourites
95 (who?)
Comments
65

Camera Data

Make
Canon
Model
Canon EOS REBEL T1i
Shutter Speed
1/197 second
Aperture
F/5.6
Focal Length
187 mm
ISO Speed
640
Date Taken
Jun 5, 2011, 11:07:59 AM
Lens
EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS
Software
Picasa
Sensor Size
22mm
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