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AURORA, Nebraska – Julia Yllesca is marking a special year in her life.

She will graduate Aurora High School this year and like all her milestones since 2008, she will be doing it without her dad.

Captain Robert Yllescas was injured in an IED attack in Afghanistan that year. He died shortly after.

Julia wanted to honor her father’s memory with her graduation photos and did it with the help of photographer Susanne Beckmann.

Beckmann told FOX 8 she wanted to do the angel pictures for her as a special gift.

She’s known the family for many years.

“I am an active duty National Guard wife which is what inspired the idea and the vision,” Beckmann said.

Julia talked to KOLN.

“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. “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.”