Happy Memorial Day!

May 28, 2012

I’d like to take a quick moment to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day. I spent last night at a cookout at the house of one of my good friends, Brian – a Marine I met while studying abroad in Argentina.  A house full of Marines and their families – talk about a perfect way to remind yourself what Memorial Day is all about.

For my senior thesis, I had the pleasure of spending a year following the lives of the Cashion Family. Joe Cashion is a Sergeant in the Army and volunteered for a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. I followed the family before, during and after Joe’s deployment. I learned so much from them and will always treasure the way they opened their lives to me.

In honor of Memorial Day, I wanted to re-post the multimedia project I created.

In order the fulfill the South Carolina Honors College Senior Thesis requirement, I spent nearly a year documenting the lives of the Cashion family of Ridgeway, South Carolina through photography, audio and video, ultimately producing an audio slideshow to tell their story.

Sergeant Joe Cashion, an Army Public Affairs Officer, was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, a deployment for which he volunteered. Before, during and after his deployment, I followed the lives of his wife, Lindy, and their two daughters, Sarah (13) and Emilee (3).  I wanted to document the struggles a soldier’s family faces during his deployment, to share the story of the Cashion family and their unique experience, and to give viewers a better understanding of the life of a soldier’s family.  Throughout the course of the project, I followed Lindy and her family through their daily lives, photographing both the simple moments and the big events all families experience.

After working on this for a year, I feel both relieved and sad to see this end.  This has been a wonderful experience – I have grown so much as a photographer and I had the privilege of being a witness to this family’s life.

 

Meet the Cashions

July 20, 2010

Even though I haven’t done much posting this summer, I have been quite busy and I thought it was time I showed you some evidence.  As a student in the Honors College at the University of South Carolina, I’m required to complete a senior thesis.  Rather than write a 40+ page paper, I decided to put my visual skills to good use and do a multimedia story.

Sgt. Cashion walks with his youngest daughter Emilee, 2, to the airport gate. Cashion left in May for training before leaving on deployment.

After brainstorming for awhile, I finally found a subject that I found compelling.  Since May, I have been following a military family in rural South Carolina.  The father, Joe Cashion, a Sergeant in the Army was recently deployed on a volunteer, six-month deployment.  Joe and his wife, Lindy, have graciously allowed me into their lives.  I’ve been documenting the family as they prepared for Joe’s deployment, watched them say goodbye the day Joe left, and have watched Lindy adjust to life at home with their two daughters, Sarah, 13, and Emilee, 3, during Joe’s absence.  Once again, I’ve been amazed by the incredible willingness of people to open up their lives to me.

Sarah, 12, plays with her cousins at Joe's going away party.

Other than two grandfathers who fought in WWII, I have no immediate family members in the military, so this is a new and fascinating world to me.  I’ve enjoyed learning about the ins and outs of the military and, more importantly, how that impacts this particular family.  Most of all, I’ve loved getting to know this family as they share their story with me.

I will continue to post updates on this story, so stay tuned!

Lindy Cashion exchanges an emotional goodbye as her husband, Joe, leaves for a volunteer deployment in Afghanistan.