So there I was; standing on the ramp at Pensacola Naval Air Station with dozens of cheering people welcoming a plane full of wounded veterans.
As the vets deplaned, the first was carried down the back stairs and placed in his wheelchair. He waved. Everyone cheered.
A big line formed, and all of the well wishers shook hands with the vets as they got off the plane and walked toward their bus.
I’m running around like crazy trying to get good shots. It was hot that afternoon. Sweat dripped off the end of my nose and on to the camera’s LCD screen as I checked an exposure.
Then I saw it. Across the ramp. I twisted on my long lens and fired off a half dozen shots. “That’s the shot right there,” I thought.
The editors thought so too. They ran it on the top of the front page. “Wounded Vets Arrive.” I love it when they run my photos on the front page. Seeing a photo you took through the front glass of a newsstand is so cool.
I didn’t talk to the guy. He was on the bus moments later, and I was still shooting. The next day, another reporter followed up on the story, and ran into the guy with the prosthetic leg. They chatted for a minute.
“By the way,” the reporter asked. “How did you lose your leg?”
The reply was rather sheepish. “Motorcycle accident.”
Whatever, I’m still putting the front page on my refrigerator for a while. 🙂