FROM: COMMANDING GENERAL, MARINE CORPS MOBILIZATION COMMAND
TO: CORPORAL TIMOTHY R PILLON
SUBJ: ORDERED TO ACTIVATION-PARTIAL MOBILIZATION
1. YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLUNTARILY ORDERED TO ACTIVE DUTY FROM YOUR RESIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARED UNDER PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION 7463 OF 14 SEPTEMBER 2001…
Thus begins the letter stuffed inside the Fed-Ex package Shannon Pillon found on her doorstep one random, ordinary day. And yes, the original is written in all caps. Her husband, Tim, left home May 1, 2008, to report for duty. This is why so many photographers nationwide donate time, talents and personal profits to Operation: Love in support of military troops who ask for nothing more than to return home at the end of their tour.
It was Op: Love that led Shannon to me, but it’s Murphy’s Military Law that we have both faced head-on that bonds us. Murphy’s Military Law: it will all come crashing down in the face of deployment. I have several deployment stories that are almost too unbelievable to share — pregnant and alone with a one-year-old in a new city, no furniture and no friends or family nearby, sleeping on an air mattress for 2 months waiting for our household goods to arrive from overseas; a lightening storm crashing a neighbor’s 80-foot Elm into our home, knocking out the power and heat and causing $30K worth of damage while I cared for two-under-two, one of whom was extremely sick; or the times I got sick and could barely drag myself to change diapers and feed my babies…sound familiar? Any Murphy’s Military Law stories to share?
In a frantic rush to squeeze the Pillon family in for photos before Tim’s departure, we worked first around the family’s biggest nightmare — an involuntary recall and a one-year deployment to Iraq — only to face the second biggest nightmare, Mom needing emergency surgery, only to face the third biggest nightmare, their youngest son needs surgery on the horizon. One thing I’ll say for military families: it’s times like these that we help our own. Please extend your thoughts, words of encouragement and prayers to the Pillon family, Tim for defending our freedoms and Shannon for being the glue that holds it all together in his absence.