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(Most photographs on this page about my family are scanned copies of the originals and were taken with a film camera).
The photo (above and below) are the only photographs I have of my dad, mom, sister and I in Germany while my dad was in the Military. This is probably at least one of several reasons I would like to take photos of service men and women and their family - so they can look back years later and remember their dad and/or mom, remember what they looked like when they served our country, and the service man or women can remember the meaning of being a Soldier.
My daddy, SFC Robert W. Forand, was and still is my HERO. He fought in WWII, Vietnam and the Korean War. He had no other choice but to leave my mother with one daughter to raise during his many deployments. Later, I came along, then my brother, Robert. I was 6-years-old when my daddy finally retired. Even though I was only six and my brother was only three when our daddy retired, we were raised as Military children. After a man serves his country for 28 years, he tends to bring militaristic characteristics into the home. We learned honor, discipline, gratitude and to love our country just as much as our daddy loved it. Daddy was very strict and yet taught us so many valuable lessons about life; lessons I will never forget.
I remember one of the first times I saw my daddy after one of his re-deployments. I was scared to death because I had not been around my daddy, the person I knew as a Soldier much in the early years of my life. Daddy came through a door at a Military base where he redeployed to, bent down on one knee, held his arms wide open, and said, "Come here, sugar, and see your ole' daddy." I ran to my mother and latched on to her for life.
Dad, Mom, me, (I was 1-year-old), Betty, (she was 12-years-old), and one of mom's best friends and her daughter in Germany. We are a good-looking bunch of folks!
My father joined the United States Army in 1944. My sister, Betty joined on 23 November 1971; days before my father was due to retire on 31 December 31 1971, after serving 28 years. Betty was 18-years-old when she joined; following in our daddy's footsteps. Betty served 20 years and retired from Fort Carson, Colorado. Betty now resides in Westcliffe, Colorado where she is also a photographer. Betty was the first person to ever show me a camera and I remember taking pictures of a butterfly with her fancy camera - a Nikon, when I was 10-years-old. A camera was hooked to my side from that moment on.
My daddy had dreams that I would join the Military too. When I was in 6th grade, Sharp Middle School administrators announced a "Career Day" would be held. I told my parents about it and I recall my daddy saying to me, "You should be a Soldier. I think you would enjoy being in the Military. I know I sure did." My mom said, "I think you should be a nurse." I was torn between both careers. I wanted to bring happiness to both of my parents and make them proud. I made a small part of my daddy's dream come true by at least seeing me in my sister's Military Dress Greens. My mother wasn't upset I chose to dress up like a Soldier. She was proud of me no matter what career I chose. I was so young in this photo, but my family was so proud to see me in this uniform.
I stood on this stage at Sharp Middle School (with my other classmates who planned to join the Military as well), and gave a speech to a packed auditorium on why we wanted to join the Military. Here I am exiting the stage after giving my speech.
Both of my parents, brother and sister were standing on the other side of this frame and as I walked toward them, I could not help but smile from ear to ear. This was one of my prouder moments as well. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do the rest of my life. I studied for the ASVAB, took the test, passed, and planned to join on a delay entry program. However, due to extenuating circumstances, I never felt comfortable obligating myself to sign any papers.
Above are two shots of my father's uniform that I took back in the day when everyone knew nothing else, but film.
When my father got very ill in December '98, I knew he wanted a Military funeral; we talked about it. I set out on a mission to find out what I needed to do to get a Military uniform for him once he passed away. I knew exactly where to find his DD214, so I could obtain the information on all his medals and ribbons to place them on his uniform. I contacted the funeral home, Fort McPherson, then the National Guard Armory in Covington. I had to let everyone know I needed Soldiers to honor my father with a 21 Gun Salute and it happened.
I took the shots above (of my daddy's uniform) the day I arrived back from Fort. McPherson and a very kind Soldier helped my sister and I find and put the medals on our daddy's uniform exactly where they needed to be placed). Betty knew where they needed to be placed, but she was in no position to make these important decisions. The death of our daddy really put our minds in a whirlwind.
Betty in 1991 when she came back to Georgia from Colorado for Robert's funeral. She wanted to wear her uniform to his funeral. Even though she looks sad, she still looks pretty snazzy!
These shots (above and below) are in a frame on one of our end tables.
Betty in my uniform during her trip to Georgia for a short visit in 2012.
There's my daddy. He was a character; always trying to get someone to laugh. Here daddy stands in the driveway of the former house where we lived in Covington. Growing up, my daddy was very strict, but you'd never know it by looking at this pose of him. Betty took this picture.
Dad, Robert, Mom and my son, Shane, on Thanksgiving Day - 1990; our last Thanksgiving as a family.
On 21 June 1991, my brother passed away. On 4 October 199, my mother passed away. And, on 10 December 1998, my daddy passed away. These were the saddest days in my life. Not a day goes by where I do not miss and think of each of them. I have an American Flag flying at all times in front of our house in honor of my family. Cherish every holiday you have with your family.
Dad, Mom and Shane on Thanksgiving Day in 1990.
Shane loved his grandpa and I'm sure he misses him just as much as I do.
Dad got very ill after my mom passed away in '92. He was hospitalized and this was one of mine and Shane's many times we visited with him. Shortly after this picture was taken, my daddy lived another 7 years. Thanks to the awesome assistance and determination of one of our neighbors who went to my daddy's house and cooked him breakfast each day.
Dad and Betty
Mom and Shane in 1990. Mom held Shane all the time when she visited with us. He really misses her and so do I!
Mom with two of her best friends. Remember, my mom wanted me to grow up and be a nurse. Go figure. I really do not care for needles.
21 June 1991, 4 October 1992 and 10 December 1998, were the saddest days in my life. First, my brother passed away, then my mom, then my daddy passed away. Not a day goes by where I do not miss and think of each of them. I have an American Flag flying at all times in front of our house in honor of my family.
I love these three shots!
I had an opportunity to go back to Fort McPherson after many, many years of not setting foot on the grounds. It was an incredible surreal time for me. The base was nearing its closing date and many flashbacks from our family's time there, zapped through my mind as I walked along the same grounds where both my sister and father were at one time in their lives - taking pictures. Check out my blog on "In Honor of Fort McPherson" to see shots of the buildings.
31 August 2011 - I visited Ft. McPherson for a tour (of the now ghost town within the state of Georgia) and a photo shoot. Mr. Peter Chadwick was my tour guide. With special permission, I was allowed to photograph the grounds of Ft. Mac where soldiers use to participate in basic training, where families use to live and where Army wives use to wait on their loved ones to return before it finally closed on 15 September 2011.The closur[e] stem[med] from recommendations by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) and are part of the Pentagon's plan to streamline the military from one designed to fight the Cold War into one better suited to confront Islamic terrorism and 21st century threats, such as regimes in North Korea and Iran." http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2005/11/07/daily43.html
My sister was stationed at Ft. Mac for a while and these pictures certainly bring back fond memories of my time visiting the grounds when I was much younger. I remember many times visiting the PX with my mother and father and proudly showing my military I.D. to be allowed to gain entry into this city within this city.
Take another tour with me along the empty houses of Staff Row, the empty barracks and the empty streets where soldiers use to walk before the federal government decided to close this historical military base.
I thought this cross was so beautiful as it hung on the brick of one of the officer's houses.
Quarters 10 is the centerpiece of Staff Row, originally known as the Commandants Quarters, it was the home to the Commanding General of Forces Command. Completed in 1892, the three-story home has 12-foot high ceilings on the first floor, 11-foot high ceilings on the second and semi-curcular front window in the turret. Post commanders, including Gen. Colin Powell, lived in Quarters 10.
In 1925, General Douglas MacArthur was assigned to Fort McPherson as post commander. Since his wife refused to live in Quarters 10, they rented an apartment near the Fox Theater.
The MacArthur's left after 89 days when the General was reassigned to Baltimore, MD.
A sleeping porch was added in 1935 for President Franklin Roosevelt when he stayed at the base during his travels to Warm Springs, Ga., for therapy.
**Information courtesy of U.S. Army Garrison Public Affairs Office.**
Pershing Hall - The original bachelor officer's quarters was completed in 1904. This facility was originally given the number 16 to incorporate the structure with the numbering system for the 19 sets of quarters on Staff Row, numbers 1-20, which is the reason why there is no number 16 on Staff Row. This building was named in honor of General of the Armies of the United States, John "Blackjack" Pershing. During his career, he served as the commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI and later as the Army Chief of Staff.
**Information courtesy of U.S. Army Garrison Public Affairs Office.**
The front of Hodges Hall.
The post headquarters, Hodges Hall, was built in 1904 as a double barracks at a cost of $55,000. It has a distinctive horseshoe shape, and departs from the 30-foot interval between the other barracks. This building is named in honor of Gen. Courtney Hodges, commander of Third United States Army and First United States Army during WWII. This facility use to house the post commander and his staff.
**Information courtesy of U.S. Army Garrison Public Affairs Office.**
Post Commissary - I remember walking through these doors several times as a child.
The end of my tour with Mr. Peter Chadwich and Fort McPherson. I know there are a few hundred soldiers and their families who will miss this historical military base.
FROM MARYANNE HINKLE TO OUR SOLDIERS:
Thank you to each and every one of our military soldiers for your love and sacrifice to the civilians of the United States of America and for keeping our country FREE.
Without your sacrifice and service, there would be no one to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. There would be no one to serve or protect our nation or defend our borders.
You are brave, you stand strong in the eyes of danger, and you are ready to deploy, engage in combat, and destroy the enemies of the United States.
You are our guardians of freedom and the American way of life...
Military daddy's make tears turn into kisses.
Many ideas were tossed about as to where we would do conduct my very first Photos for Soldiers Family Shoot. So, the family decided to pose on this dock in a public habitat area. This family also wanted to pose with their brother-in-law, brother and uncle's photos who is now serving our country in Afghanistan.
A MILITARY SURVIVOR
2 July 2012
2 July 2012 - I was honored and thrilled to photograph Sgt. Mark Gagne. He told me his story and the emotion of this photo shoot reminded me so much of the time my father and sister served in the United States Army. Thank you to all the soldiers who serve and protect our country.
Sgt. Mark Gagne, originally a Navy man, decided to join the Army National Guard after being out for quite some time. Sgt. Gagne and I had been touching base for about 3 weeks as we tried to get our schedules in order for a photo shoot.
Sgt. Gagne recently returned to Georgia from Afghanistan where he was injured after his Humvee ran over an IED bomb. Sgt. Gagne received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained from the roadside bomb in August of 2009. Sgt. Gagne is truly a Military Survivor and one I was incredibly honored to photograph.
Sgt. Gagne was in the Navy for nine years and decided to re-inlist with the Army National Guard for retirement and for education benefits for his children and has been in for eight years now. Sgt. Gagne is hoping to retire so he can spend time with his new wife and five children.
Sgt. Gagne truly appreciates letters from civilians.
Sgt. Gagne reads a letter from a civilian.
Sgt. Gagne holds the flag as he faces the courtyard at Oxford College of Emory University in Oxford, GA during our photo shoot.
These feet have walked a few hundred miles for our country.
If you have trouble reading the above, it states, " Health Through Service."
A truly sincere THANK YOU goes out to Sgt. Mark Gagne for giving me his time for this incredible photo shoot. Sir, you helped to make a dream come true for me and for that I will be forever grateful to you.
ARMY NATIONAL GUARDSMEN VISIT CAMP TWIN LAKES
19 June 2012
21 June 2012 - Charlie Company 1-185th Air Assault Company National Guard from Winder, GA came to Camp Twin Lakes to visit with campers and have dinner. I was honored to be there to take shots. I won't bore you with all of the photos I took so these are just a few of "THE" best ones.
L-R: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joanna Williamson, Sgt. Eric Baucom, Sgt. Ryan Leone, Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth, Staff Sgt. Jeff Reno, Chief Warrant Officer 2 J.J. Sutherland, and Maj. Chris Powell.
Hope to see you all again, soldiers!
19 June 2012 - What an awesome day! Soldiers from Charlie Company 1-111th General Support Aviation Battalion with the Georgia Army National Guard MEDEVAC Unit came to Camp Twin Lakes to visit Camp Sunshine campers.
L-R: Warrant Officer Candidate Ben Sheppard , Chief Warrant Officer 4 Scott Melius and Major Will Cox.
That's a HH-60M Black Hawk MEDEVAC Helicopter behind them. :-)
Warrant Officer Candidate Ben Sheppard gets the HH-60M Blackhawk MEDEVAC Helicopter ready for lift off. My husband loves this shot!
SUCCESS!!! And, they're off! See you guys next time! Thanks for stopping by Camp Twin Lakes. The children LOVED having you there!
18 March 2012 - I attended the funeral of my best friend's brother which was a very sad for her and those who knew Chris. May his soul rest in peace. On the way to the funeral home, I couldn't help but notice the Veteran's Memorial Park in Summerville, GA in Chattooga County. My husband and I stopped here on our way home while I snapped shots and thought about my daddy and the rest of our service men and women who have served our country.
GOD BLESS AMERICA - WE ARE THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE!
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