Senior photos honor dad killed in Afghanistan


AURORA, Neb. (CNN) – A Nebraska high school student is getting a lot of attention on social media because of her unique senior pictures.

She decided to pay tribute to her father in a special way– because he died while serving in Afghanistan.

“He was one of the oldest to go through ranger school,” Julia Yllescas, an Aurora High School Senior, said.

When it comes to big events in Julia’s life, like getting married and having kids, she’s realized her father won’t be there.

But for senior pictures, she wanted to make sure he was.

“It almost felt when I saw those people that he truly was there”.

On Saturday, she had her senior pictures taken and sent in pictures to the photographer to see if she could create an “angel picture”.

“Like I said, to have a piece of him with me throughout my senior year. Because sometimes it feels like where are you? Why did you have to leave?”

Yllescas’ dad died in Afghanistan in 2008 after he ran over an IED. He was able to make it to the hospital in Texas, but about a month later he died.

Being an active duty military wife herself, the photographer says she was honored to take the photos.

“I was teary eyed when I was editing them, all I could think in my head is I don’t ever want to have to do this for my own kids,” Susanne Beckmann, the photographer, said.

Julia says she couldn’t be more thankful for the pictures that she will carry with her forever.

Although he is not there physically, these pictures go to show he is still always right by her side.

“Just to have that on my wall and be like no he is with me, even though I can’t physically see him,” Yllescas said.

Yllscas’ angel photos have already been shared on Facebook more than 13,000 times.

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