Nebraska teenager's senior pictures honor father killed in Afghanistan

Published: Aug. 20, 2019 at 4:26 AM CDT
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A Nebraska high school student's senior pictures are gaining thousands of interactions on social media.

But they aren't your typical senior pictures, they are honoring her late father.

Aurora High School senior Julia Yllescas's father died in 2008 when he was fighting for our country in Afghanistan. She said when she went to take her senior pictures, she wanted him to be there in some way.

"Why it has hit my heart so hard is that I almost felt when I saw those pictures that he truly was there,” said Yllescas.

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

"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,” said Yllescas.

The two pictures she's received back so far show her sitting and standing next to a faint shadow of her father in uniform.

Her dad was injured by an IED in Afghanistan in 2008.

He was flown to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland where he died a month later. Army Captain Robert Yllescas was then buried in Osceola, Nebraska.

Being an active-duty military wife herself, the photographer said 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,” said photographer, Susanne Beckmann.

Yllescas said she couldn't be more thankful for the pictures that she will carry with her forever.

And although he is not there physically, the 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,” said Yllescas.