That photo ran on the front page of the Virginian Pilot on June 5th with the caption "Candice Knilans waits for her husband, Petty officer 3rd Class John Knilans, to disembark from the carrier Harry S. Truman… after the strike group’s seven month deployment ended."
The photo has been described as everything from tawdry to iconic, and personally I fall closer to the iconic camp. The two things that strike me most about this photo are the price tag visible on the bottom of the right shoe, and her stance. The price tag bespeaks something quite beautiful in my opinion, as far from tawdry as something can be. It tells a story, that little tag, of a woman who bought a pair of shoes and did not wear them but put them immediately in the back of her closet to await her husband's return. The tag turns a pair of cute but rather run-of-the-mill sexy shoes into a look designed the knock her man's socks off after a 7 month deployment. Her stance speaks of a sort of coy nervousness which, combined with the special occasion shoes, makes a very sweet, very poignant statement. Granted, I have no way of knowing if anything I see in that photo is true in any way, but the possibility makes me smile. A great photo, that.
Sarah of the Smart Bitches makes a good point about the disagreement in responses:
"The asexualization of the military and the concept of homecoming vs. the sexuality and human need for contact on the part of the servicemen and service women on board are quite at odds with one another in the responses, especially in the context that we are, after all, at war, and deployment is a life-or-death issue for many, many enlisted individuals. Coming home safe means coming home alive, and let’s be frank, the most affirming way to celebrate the fact that one is alive, home, and safe? Sex. Hugging. Kissing. Possibly more sex. (I hope it was awesome.)"via SBTN