Military Village Project – Newport, Rhode Island Edition
Last year before we were leaving Okinawa I started a photo project that I anticipated living and dieing there in Okinawa. I was feeling extremely sentimental thinking of leaving our friends there that had most assuredly become our family. I had always tried to make it a point of getting photos of my girls and their friends before leaving a duty station, but this was a very special location and I wanted to make sure I had a photo as many kids as I could in our neighborhood.
Military families are often highlighted in the news and especially during election time, but one relationship I feel that gets left out is that of the military children and their friends. The littlest ones particularly don’t fully comprehend what is happening and will ask to go play with their friend long after one and/or the other has left for a new location.
Moving to Rhode Island I didn’t anticipate continuing this photo project. The vast majority of the families are here for just one year and sometimes only overlap for a few months. I didn’t think the kids’ friendships would reach the level they do at longer duty stations.
I was dead wrong.
They absolutely, positively do not care that they are only going to play with one another for a few months or a year. They are all in and love every second of it. We’re getting ready for another round of goodbyes here in our neighborhood in a couple of weeks and I’m already sad for these kiddos heading off and for the ones left behind.
During these short photo sessions 2 weeks ago I loved interacting with all these kids and loved seeing them together. They didn’t care one little bit it was cold outside. They were excited to be together and play in all the snow together too.
These boys were ready to head off to a movie night and sleepover after they had their photos taken. I was told in no uncertain terms that I was definitely NOT invited to their movie night! It was “BOYS ONLY” and they wanted no part of some old girl being there with them!
They were piling in the truck to head off on boys’ night when one of the moms tapped me on the shoulder and said “this is the real them”. I turned and snapped a few photos and didn’t think anything of it until I pulled this photo up on my computer screen. This is what it’s all about – playing, being silly and being kids. They do not care that 2 of the 4 are headed out soon and are just focused on a fun night of being loud and silly!
I have many more photos to share from this series and will be back to share those periodically.
Feel free to share the photos and/or blog posts. This is a project that is now very dear to me and happy to spread it around!