Fallen soldier included in daughter's senior photos

August 20, 2019

Julia Yllescas has never doubted that her dad has always been with her. But now she, and the whole world can see it, thanks to help from photographer and military spouse Susanne Beckmann.

Beckmann, of Snapshots by Suz has been photographing Nebraska teen Yllescas since she was 9 years old and wanted to do something special for her and her dad, Army Capt. Robert Yllescas. Robert Yllescas stepped on an IED in Afghanistan in 2008 and later died of his injuries.

"It is such an honor for me -- especially as a military wife -- to include this beautiful girl's father in her senior pictures," Beckmann told Connecting Vets.

Beckman said she thought "would be a great idea to do these angel pictures for her as a special gift for her big milestone and to her family."

Photos by Susanne Beckmann, of Snapshots by Suz

Beckmann's husband is active-duty National Guard, "which is what inspired the idea and the vision."

With a husband in the service, Beckman said she makes it a point to photograph military families and their special memories.

"I was very emotional when I edited the photos," she said. "My husband has been put in the exact same situations as Rob was, but I was lucky enough for him to come home. A lot of military spouses and kids, such as Julia, are not, and I am so thankful I was able to do something to honor her and her dad."

Photos by Susanne Beckmann, of Snapshots by Suz

"I almost felt, when I saw those pictures, that he truly was there," Yllescas told KOLN-TV.

Beckmann shared some of the portraits to the Facebook page for her photography business, and the post had more than 31,000 shares as of Aug. 20.

Want to get more connected to the stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Reach Abbie Bennett: abbie@connectingvets.com or @AbbieRBennett