Hearts Apart providing free photo shoots for military families

By Tracey Amick  bio | email

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - When servicemen and women deploy their families are left behind often with just pictures to remember them.  Now a group is providing professional pictures for free.

It's called Hearts Apart, and started in Wilmington, N.C. in September.

"The first photo shoot they were about ready to leave and said we didn't think anyone cared and I realized the significance of the project," said photographer Brownie Harris.

"We've gotten an overwhelming responses were getting hundreds of e-mails every day. We're getting responses from California to Germany," Harris said.

On Thursday, a North Charleston Air Force family was photographed by Diana Deaver.

"For me to be able to support someone who's supporting my personal freedom means a lot on a personal level," Deaver said.

Crystal says the separation from her husband when he's deployed is tough, especially now that they have kids, but it's all part of being a military wife.

"It's hard when they leave for deployment or if they're ever gone, pictures are all that you ever have," she said.

Not only does the family get a collection of the photographs a few weeks after the shoot, but Hearts Apart goes one step further,  providing the service member a photographic bi-fold with pictures of family on the outside and inside -- an intimate picture for their eyes only.

The bi-fold is weatherproof and easy to fit in their uniform pocket.

"It makes me feel like he will have a part of us with him even though we can't be there physically," Crystal said.

It's a link to those they love until they can come home.

"It feels like we haven't been forgotten like there's people out there who care about what happens to us," Crystal said.

For more information go to www.heartsapart.org

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