A New Use For My Camera Bag

Today was the funeral for Sgt. Jay Hoskins, the local Marine who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan. It’s been quite a week for the Paris community here and you’ve probably seen the photo gallery I posted from the events on Thursday when his body was returned to the local airfield in a very moving, military ceremony. Hoskins Page

The funeral was this morning at North Lamar High school and there was quite a line of cars that followed the casket to it’s final resting place out north of town. I had thought it might make for some more dramatic photos to shoot this from the sky so I had made arrangements with a local pilot, a retired Naval officer, to take me up. I have done this on a few other occasions and was excited about the opportunity to record the event from the sky.

What I was not prepared for though was circling at the low altitude for nearly two hours going around and around. After about 45 minutes (as we waited for the procession to begin), my stomach began feeling queasy. I did everything I knew to do to maintain a grip, wanting to make the most of this photo opportunity. As the procession made its from the school out to the cemetery, I could tell the effect of a dramatic shot from above would be minimal as the caravan stretched on and cars became more separated. It sure didn’t help that my stomach issues were not improving either.

I took a few more shots as the cars arrived at the cemetery and was able to capture the flyover of three small planes that left a trail of smoke in honor of Sgt. Hoskins.

But without going into much graphic detail, let me just say it became necessary to remove the contents of my camera bag as I was quickly going to need it for…um….something else. I’m glad I had I brought my bag with me. I’m also very glad that I chose to pass this morning on the monthly ‘all-you-can-eat- breakfast’ that the local VFD has once a month.

It was a rough morning for me to be flying, obviously. But if this weekend taught me anything, it was life can always be much more difficult than what we might be going through at any given time. And you don’t have to look far to see that.

Rest In Peace Sgt. Jay Hoskins. You served your country well…and paid the ultimate sacrifice. We salute you for that.