Homecoming, and a mother's tears

The Baltimore Sun

My assignment editor called to tell me that I had a new assignment: I needed to head to Towson to photograph members of the Maryland Army National Guard coming home from duty in Iraq. At the moment, I was in Columbia lying on the ground trying to get a gripping photo of a box turtle meeting a group of 6-year-olds.

I had been told the troops would arrive at 12:30 p.m. At 11:50 a.m., I parked my car on a side street and began to eat lunch. I hadn't even gotten to those delicious hidden pickles in my chicken sandwich when I heard cheers erupting from up the street. The troops were early! With a mouth full of chicken, I ran as quickly as I could to the armory.

These sorts of events go on for a while, but moments like the one between Sophia Jones and her son, Spc. Tony Jones, are spontaneous and ephemeral. Sophia was already in tears when I saw her waiting. I spoke with her briefly before she finally got to lay hands on her "baby."

I want to thank the Jones family for letting me and the community share in their moment. Any day I get to document tears that are for joy and love is a phenomenal day.


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