My long time friend Austin Embelton just left a couple of days ago for Iraq as a Marine for his first tour. I wasn’t home to wish him good luck and say goodbye in person. I wrote the following essay and words to try and make up for it.
Before he left, I had intended to do a photo essay on how he spent his last days home before he left. We got to meet up a couple of times. The first of which was when he was home in between training for Christmas break.
My intentions for the accompanying words were to express how despite our enormous differences in opinions about politics and the U.S.’s involvement in the war, and as heated as our arguments may have gotten at some point, he is my friend and I respect him and support him completely in whatever he does and appreciate it. After all, they are just opinions, and everyone has their differences.
Even though I fucking hate cops in general, it was really cool seeing him at his LA Sheriffs graduation. He is really dedicated at what he does, whether its spearfishing at LD or his work, and subsequently, it shows. He is really good at it all. I am really proud of this dude. I wish I had access to my computer in Malibu cause I would post the funniest photo of him at his graduation.
In the photo below, he is with his extended family, doing a gift exchange game on Christmas day. He invited me over and the family was really cool about me just sitting there and observing. However, they wouldn’t let me opt out of participating, and included me in the game even though I didn’t have a present to offer. I had spotted a Sham Wow box, and I made away with it. Holds 100x its own weight in liquid!
Austin, along with his girlfriend, are LA Sheriffs. They both carry around their heat at almost all the time. Here, Austin shows me the sweet area in his girlfriends purse where she can quickdraw her gun. Meanwhile, the gift exchange goes on without noticing.
I always ask Austin to show me his guns when he has them in the presence of me (which is always, unless we are in the water surfing), just so I know what he is packing. He is so infatuated and respectful of his weapons, cause he understands the true power of them. Always very careful and precise. There is no joking around with him when it comes to that.
In the photo below, Austin is showing his cousin how to properly AND safely load, shoot, and reload the rubberband gun shooter that he got for Christmas that day.
Austin and his little sister. 1-2-3 Cheese Austin.
A couple days before New Years, Austin went to Las Vegas to get a little loose before he bails. We did a bunch of gambling and made out pretty well for Vegas terms. (we didnt lose any money)
The casino wasn’t too happy about letting me shoot photos, but I got a few anyways.