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By Sgt. 1st Class John Etheridge
Utah National Guard
For going above and beyond in performing an immense act of kindness to a deployed Soldier, Ginger Livingston of Ginger Snaps Photography, was presented a Seven Seals Award by officials from the Utah Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Provo, Utah, April 15, 2021.
Staff Sgt. Jullienne Labrum, a Basic Leader Course instructor with the 640th Regiment-Regional Training Institute, nominated Livingston for the award for the support she received from her while deployed for 12 months to the Middle East.
Before Jullienne left on her deployment, she contacted Ginger Snaps Photography to take some family photos with her husband Jake and infant son, so she could have them while she was away.
Livingston, a mother of two adopted children and understanding what it was like to miss a part of a child’s life, contacted Jullienne’s husband Jake and offered to take photos of their son every month while Jullienne was away. Livingston and Jake agreed that it should be a surprise for Jullienne when she returned home.
After Jullienne returned home from her deployment, Livingston contacted her through email and offered her a free welcome home family photo session. A week after the free photo session, Livingston sent the photos to Jullienne and included more than 1,600 photos of her son and husband that Livingston had taken while Jullienne was deployed.
“She captured a year’s memories that I would never have had,” said Jullienne. “To be able to see those things that I missed, it’s a small piece that I was able to get back.”
Jullienne added that while she was deployed, she was not able to video call very often because of the poor internet connections at her remote base. Because of the photos that Livingston took, she was able to see her son’s first steps and first time in the snow.
Jullienne wanted to show her gratitude and appreciation to Livingston for her kind deed and decided to put her in for an award from ESGR. The award was upgraded to the Seven Seals Award because of the significant support shown by Livingston for a deployed service member.
“There is no one in the world that I think is more deserving of this award,” said Jullienne. “I wish I could give her the world because she has given me the world. This is a small token.”
During the award presentation, Livingston remarked that her real reward were the tears of appreciation from Jullienne when she saw the year’s worth of photos of her son, but she is very honored to receive the Seven Seals Award.
“I am very honored because I love and support those who serve in the military. I am honored especially to be able to do something on a one on one basis,” said Livingston. “It’s nice to know that each of us can make a difference in a little way.”
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