NPR : News

Through The Lens: Seeing Veterans Up Close

Suzanne Opton is the author of Soldier/Many Wars.

When the war in Iraq began, I worried there would be a draft. What if my son was called? How would he ever recover from going to war?

I decided that I wanted to meet the young men and women who voluntarily sign up. I began at Fort Drum in upstate New York where I photographed soldiers between tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. There was little conversation as I asked each soldier to adopt a vulnerable, intimate position, and lay his or her head on a table. I did not give these images captions.

Later I went to the Veterans Affairs medical clinics in Vermont to photograph veterans who were in group therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. I thought if I draped them in fabric, they could become a boy with a cape, a warrior, a martyr, a saint. Unlike the active-duty soldiers, these vets liked to talk. The more they did, the more I realized they could have been in any one of these roles.

Read An Essay From A Veteran About Returning From War

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

No Longer Omar: Actor Michael K. Williams On Lucky Breaks And Letting Go

Over the course of his career, Williams says he's learned to separate himself from his characters (like The Wire's Omar). In HBO's The Night Of, he plays a powerful prison inmate named Freddy.
NPR

#FoodPorn, Circa 1600s: Then And Now, It Was More About Status Than Appetite

A new study of old masters finds that capturing and showing off decadent and expensive meals is a decidedly old-fashioned practice. Like today's Instagrammers, it was all about projecting an image.
NPR

From Reluctant Political Spouse To Pop Culture Icon: Michelle Obama

In eight years, Michelle Obama has gone from obscurity to becoming one of the country's most popular Democrats. The first lady has earned high approval ratings and praise for her authenticity.
NPR

Verizon Buys Yahoo's Core Assets

Verizon is buying Yahoo's Internet business for $4.83 billion. It's not a carefully designed deal, but a quick sale of the troubled Internet pioneer to the highest bidder.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.