WASHINGTON (FOX 26) - Each stop on the Honor Flight journey brought back emotions, memories and for some, tears, thinking about what they went through so many years ago.
"A lot of times, these veterans haven't had a picture for years, a lot of years, and especially regarding their service, they haven't had photos since then, so it could be 70 years," says photographer Karie Hubnik.
To help capture the emotions of the trip, photographers Hubnik and Tami Stieger tagged along, snapping pictures, but also stopping to take a portrait, one that captures solely the veteran and nothing else.
"I feel like the portrait just captures the moment of just why they are here, the feelings they are having, the experience and being able to do it with other veterans," says Hubnik.
"There are so many photos of each individual where they are out somewhere and there are distractions in the background and so I think it's really important to take those distractions out of there and focus just on the veterans just themselves because they are beautiful," says Stieger, who is based in Washington, D.C. She, along with volunteers from approximately 30 different cities, take part in Honor Flight trips to the capital every year. What started her love for helping those who have served was her grandfather, a World War II veteran.
"He was from Nebraska and he flew out in 2009 and I happened to be back in Nebraska for his homecoming and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, what a wonderful organization this is," explains Stieger.
Each picture captures the joy, tears, happy moments and the memories that some of these veterans have been holding back for decades. The military portrait tradition dates back to the beginning, carried on for families to enjoy for many years to come.
"They always remember it, that's what they want to talk about, so the photos help bring that back to them," adds Hubnik.