We’ve been trying to track down some pro Obama military folks for a while now, and I figured where better to find them than in Texas! I had come across a listing on my.barackobama.com by a former air force Sergeant, who was organizing veterans to go to the airport to greet returning service men and women and register them to vote. Apparently every day a flight lands at DFW airport from Kuwait carrying over 200 US troops home for a 2 week leave.
I contacted Sgt. Courtney Davis to ask if he might organize another event with a little less airport security, where we might take portraits of these veterans who have been volunteering for the Obama campaign. And in the spirit of Southern hospitality, we were cordially invited to his home in Rowlett, just outside Dallas, that Sunday afternoon. Courtney told me he didn’t think he could still fit into his uniform but he’d encourage his buddies to try to squeeze back into theirs.
When we arrived at the suburban home there were already a couple of guys gathered in the living room watching football. I only hoped they’d find us interesting enough to tear themselves away from the game long enough to be photographed. Both of the football watchers were in civilian cloths, but soon after Rob and I had gotten the set up in the driveway, a uniformed pair arrived to join the group, and soon the gathering had moved to the front yard. There was plenty of playful verbal sparing between the various branches of the military who were in attendance, but most of the conversation centered on their hopes for the upcoming election.
Rob was so pleased by the veterans meticulous attention to instruction and said that they’d all taken direction better than anyone he’d ever photographed. Most of the men in uniform stood at attention and wouldn’t crack a smile, despite Rob’s attempts. But Harold, a decorated Sergeant Major, was exuberant and jovial, saying he was retired now and no longer needed to scare anyone.
Courtney also introduced us to Donald, a traveling Obama activist who had contacted him about his troop registration event the day before, and also wanted to have his portrait taken for the project. Donald, a PHD and former science teacher, has been living out of his van as he travels the country promoting his bill on election reform. Don explained to us the theory behind the bill, as we finished photographing the last of the veterans, and by the time we’d broken down the set and packed up the car I think we were more confused than when he’d begun! We were so grateful to have met such passionate and patriotic pro Obama folks in Dallas, Texas!