Monica Harmon's smile will soon be seen in Iraq. "It's important for me to be here," she said, standing in front of a giant American flag, the stars and stripes serving as a backdrop for a makeshift photography studio set up in the lobby of the Armed Forces Reserve Center.
Her little brother, 22-year-old Robert, is a Marine in Baghdad. "I'm nervous, and I'm always wondering what he's doing, and if he's eaten, if he's bathed. I'm always thinking about him," she said, as a flashbulb went off in the distance.
"I haven't talked to him in a month," said Betsy Stiles. Her fiance is also a Marine. "I just hope he's safe and he's eating good, and getting sleep," she said, smiling for the camera.
Two women who's lives have been made a little brighter by a man who has a way with compliments. "Smile! Great! Great!," shouts Ken Porter. He's a photographer who gets smiles by giving them. Inspired to contribute to the war effort, he had the idea of taking free portrait photos for military families, giving them something to send to their soldiers away from home.
"Well, each family will receive a 5x7, a couple of 3x5's, and 8 wallets. And then we'll also provide the same image to them either on CD or we'll e-mail it to them," he said.
For Ken, it's a way to give back to those who have given so much. "We're safe. We're not having to suck up buckets of dust and sand and worry about dodging bullets like they are over there. And so this is one little thing that we can do to help support the families and help support the people overseas," he said. Smiling, of course.
Anyone who has a family member in service can have their photo taken at either the Armed Forces Reserve Center, or the Silent Wings Museum, on Friday, April 11th, from 6 to 8 p.m., or on Saturday, April 12th, from 3 to 6 p.m.