This Picture was an inspiration generated from my early life in the military. (1966~1969. .Early for some..)
I started work for FMC at DFW Airport in 2004. It was here that I saw how the troops returning from ‘The War’ were greeted. It was emotional for all and I immediately wondered how long these Marines, Solders, Sailors, and Airmen would be remembered as Heroes. When I came home, (1969) it was as if the lives and dedication to our country by the military was immediately forgotten. Maybe, there was something I could do in a small way... to make sure their sacrifices were not forgotten.
I looked around at the area at Terminal B where the troops were greeted upon their arrival. This area remained adorned with many signs and placards expressing support for several months.
I took many images of this area, However at the time, I did not know why, The signage was moved and changed periodically, so, I would occasionally go in and take pictures when no one is there.
In 2005, FMC planned a day for a ‘Meeting of the Troops’. I was there to take pictures of FMC’s participation in that event.
I had already seen how the Plane with the troops was greeted by the Fire trucks. I like it, so, I took another image. They call this greeting the “SHOWER OF AFFECTION”*.
After the event, I took inventory of images and reflected. Several days passed and I was still in photo gridlock as to how or what I was going to do with those images.
On one of the weekend outings with my wife, I took some pictures of a US flag in a gusty wind. An Idea fell into place. I thought at this time, this was the missing piece.
The following weekend I went to work on an idea. The first pass did not work for me. At 2100 hours Saturday night, I started over. At 03 dark thirty , I had the magic. I also had to sleep.
Sunday night was another short night. I had a 13”X19” picture to show my boss. It was not finished, but at this point, I needed a second set of military eyes looking at the picture. Boss said to make him five copies of this picture. I protested. I said; ‘it’ is not finished; his reply was;
‘It never will be’.
“SHOWER OF AFFECTION” This water salute has existed for several years, and was first used as a salute to airline captains on their final flight prior to retirement. This salute has evolved into an honorary recognition of originations, such as ‘Make a Wish Foundation’, ‘Dallas Cowboys’, ‘Dallas Stars’, and many other charities and special flights. The water salute consists of two “water turrets” carrying 3,000 gallons of water with nozzles discharging 1,500 gallons per minute.