My first deployment was in 2002. I was part of Stabilization Force 11, or SFOR 11 as we called it. Our main mission was to maintain the fragile peace throughout Bosnia Herzegovina. But while some Soldiers did patrols and watched for threats, others were helping to build a community.
It was these missions I loved to cover as a military journalist. It gave me a chance to see the citizens, and of course some children. Below are a few shots I took during a community medical mission and an orphanage visit. And even though my photography skills were still very basic back then, I still love these photos. I can somehow overlook my camera errors because the pictures hold so many memories. I remember the interaction with this people and the hope in their eyes. I think it was here in Bosnia Herzegovina that I truly discovered my appreciation for the human spirit and humanitarian aide.
Now, over a decade later, I often wonder where these kids are today. Did they live happy healthy lives? Did they get adopted? Do they remember the multinational forces in their country as trying to help? I surly hope they got some of those things. For the future of their country is assuredly in their hands. I pray that they have not lost the light I saw in their eyes.
My deployment travels are a definite muse I like to revisit and post about. I almost feel as though, but sharing these experiences, I am sharing hope with those who may not otherwise consider what it was like for the people and service members there during that time frame.