HOME AWAY  |  2014 - Present

Over the past few years, I have made photographs to explore and visually document the feelings and emotions that a military family regularly experiences while being interrupted, uprooted and displaced over and over again. 

The military family is a unique and often misunderstood subculture -- one that I have been personally engrossed in for the past 25 years, as an Active Duty Nurse and as a military spouse. Military families are faced with unique hardships, stressors, challenges, and life experiences, in general. One of the most frequented hardships is that of recurrent relocation.

Military families typically relocate every two-to three years, forcing the families to leave their home, school, and community -- and start anew. While reactions differ slightly depending on the family unit, a range of feelings and emotions are constant during this time: sadness, loneliness, concern, worry, feeling overwhelmed, anxiety of making new friends, concern of added responsibilities, and fear of not finding community and support. Ultimately, it is a journey -- a journey of transition, strength, acceptance and -- the redefining of a home away from home. 

it’s that time again
orders are in
nothing new
everything new
hurry up
again and
unravel the threads
physical ties
ephemeral, they demand
but, what comes next?
so hard you have worked
your fear is quiet
yet palpable
i sense the tears
you bravely hold back
in secret
my heart aches for you
you are stronger than you realize
i am prouder than you know
trust me please
we have each other
let’s get moving
- Deb Schwedhelm