Photography-- An escape for Holloman Airman

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ilyana A. Escalona
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

From a young age, David Long has been interested in photography.

His father used to take him out on different shoots with each one increasing his love of photography. With each passing year, David’s passion for photography continued to grow until he made the life-changing decision to serve his country. With his photo passion on hold, David dedicated himself to a proud Air Force career.

It was not until his Afghan deployment that David picked up his camera and continued his passion from where he left off as a younger man.

“I was down in Kandahar for a year and shot about 9,000 photos,” Long said. “It felt good to be back.”

Today, Master Sgt. David Long, the 54th Fighter Group staff F-16 base engine manager, uses photography as his way to relieve stress.

“Once I get my camera out of the bag and start shooting, I forget about it all, which for me is my therapy,” Long said. “I get involved in the camera.”

When Long goes out on shoots, he wraps the environment around him. He is so focused on capturing perfect shots that he does not realize that throughout his day’s work, he has already produced so many dynamic photos.

David believes his work is aesthetically appealing but has never seen it as a big deal until now.

Long was honored April 12 at the Pentagon for his photo contribution to the Wounded Warrior Healing Arts Exhibit. One of his photos was showcased at the entrance of the entire exhibit. The rest of his photography and biography are on display along with work from other wounded warriors at Apex one and two of the Pentagon.

He was surprised by being showcased, especially since he’s so new to the Wounded Warrior program.

“I wasn’t even a member of the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program until July 2016,” Long said. “In January, I got contacted by the program asking me for some of my favorite photos, and a quick bio and photo of me.”

Long sent his photos to the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program office in San Antonio, and was contacted back in April 2017.

“Within a month, I was contacted by them again letting me know that my pictures were getting put up in the Pentagon in the Wounded Warrior Healing Arts Exhibit,” Long said. “I was kind of blown away.”

Long received a certificate for his photography and further recognition from the distinguished guests at the event including Dawn Goldfein; Raquel Bono, the Director of the Defense Health Agency; and a three-star general.

Long enjoys taking his talent with him across the country to wounded warrior competitions. He takes photos of wounded warriors competing at the Air Force trials and at their training camp.

These trials are part of an adaptive sports program, headed by the Wounded Warrior program, designed to promote the mental and physical wellbeing of seriously wounded, ill and injured military members and veterans.

After his shoots, he posts the photos of all the wounded warriors competing and training online. He does not charge people for them.

“It’s kind of like my giving back to them,” Long said. “The biggest thing I’ve noticed, especially during my deployment, is that you do all this awesome stuff and you never get a picture of it.”