welcome home

I flew back to Chicago’s Midway Airport from New York Wednesday night.

After deplaning. I headed towards baggage claim. As I neared the end of Terminal B, I saw twenty sailors lining the concourse near a sign that said “Welcome Home Troops”.

I figured that a group from Iraq or Afghanistan was arriving so I decided to wait and check out the scene.

Soon after, a bagpipe band began to play and one by one a group of soldiers came off the plane except they weren’t active duty, they were World War II veterans.

As I would find out later, they had traveled in the morning to Washington DC to visit the WWII Memorial and were now returning.

The scene was incredible as the veterans walked or were wheeled through the terminal. Some waved, some saluted and many cried.

After leaving the terminal, the men headed towards the baggage claim area where hundreds of their family and friends were waiting with flags and signs and hugs and kisses.

Welcome home!

Β© 2009 Chicago Tribune/ Scott Strazzante

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8 Responses to “welcome home”

  1. Scott, this is just fantastic, and a perfect example of why you are one of my favorite photographers. It’s great to see someone taking moving, heartfelt photos because of the passion you so obviously have for doing it.
    It helps that you are kick ass at it!
    I love that you walk around with camera at the ready. Scenes like this make the payoff obvious.

  2. BTW, I’m digging the B&W tones…

  3. You want to get a “welcome home” – My son, who is in the Army, 6-6 Cav, blah, blah, blah! πŸ™‚ Will be arriving after their year tour at Fort Drum, New York on or about the 24th of this month. My son, Josh, is a native to Chicago.

  4. You want to get a “welcome home” – My son, who is in the Army, 6-6 Cav, blah, blah, blah! πŸ™‚ Will be arriving after their year tour at Fort Drum, New York on or about the 24th of this month. My son, Josh, is a native to Chicago. Not arrving here after a year at Fort Drum, but rather, arriving back at Fort Drum after a year in Iraq! πŸ™‚

  5. Scott,
    If this photo of the gentleman all choked up is not published in the paper than I just can’t imagine what is worthy of being published. It is one of the most moving photos I’ve ever seen and should be shared with everyone.
    You have a rare talent!
    Take care,
    Mary Mannebach Clegg

    • Thanks Mary! This “homecoming” happened around 9pm so it was too late for the next day’s paper but it did get published online.
      Hope all is great in your world!

  6. This really hit home for me as my son is stationed in Iraq right now – when he was home on leave for two weeks at the end of May, he changed planes in Atlanta where they have “clapping volunteers” (also in DFW Airport). They are the airports that our military travel through while on their way home on leave…LOVELY thing that they do. I myself am looking forward to my own “homecoming”…my son’s tour of duty is almost over and he will be arriving at Fort Drum, NY sometime around the 23rd of this month! Can’t wait. I will be traveling to Philly where my daughter lives (I live in Chicago) and we’re driving there! Good Times!

  7. I have to say, I am a huge fan, and all of your pictures inspire me. This one of the soldiers saluting really touches my heart, and makes me so proud of and grateful for all of our men and women who have and are serving. Thanks!

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