Teen honors father killed in Afghanistan with special graduation photos

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Courtesy of FOX

Ne. (FOX) — A Nebraska teen who was just a kid when her father died from an IED explosion in Afghanistan more than a decade ago found a way to honor him in her high school graduation pictures.

Aurora High School senior Julia Yllescas sent her pictures to a photographer on Saturday to create an “angel picture” of her and her father, Army Capt. Robert Yllescas.

The photos showed Yllescas with a faint shadow version of her father. One showed them sitting down on a bench. In another, Yllescas held a folded American flag while standing next to him in uniform.

“Why it has hit my heart so hard is that I almost felt when I saw those pictures that he truly was there,” the teen told KOLN-TV. “And 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 go?”

The elder Yllescas was injured by an IED in Afghanistan in 2008. He died a month later at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and was buried in Nebraska.

Photographer Susanne Beckmann, an active-duty military wife who’s known the Yllescas family for many years, said she was teary-eyed editing the photos.

“All I could think in my head is I don’t ever want to have to do this for my own kids,” she said.

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