As a Marine combat engineer with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, John Gibson’s job was to identify improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines, place and clear obstacles, lay out concertina wire and build bunkers. This essential, physical and tactile combat…
Pearsall Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of Veterans Portrait Project
Stacy Pearsall created the Veterans Portrait Project in 2008. Since that time she has traveled the nation taking formal portraits of thousands of veterans in whatever style those veterans choose to present themselves. The Veterans Portrait Project, which Pearsall admits was at first a healing tool for her own PTSD, has now become a national phenomenon, offering Americans a glimpse into the hearts of veterans. Pearsall deeply understands that “What unites them all is their service. It’s a bond that cannot be broken, and I am proud to be one of them.” The project is now marking its 10th anniversary.
Pearsall is an Air Force veteran who served three tours in Iraq, enlisted at age 17 and became a combat photographer traveling to 41 countries and capturing over 500,000 images, many of which were distributed around the world. She is the first woman to twice be named Military Photographer of the Year. She is also a 2004 graduate of the military photojournalism program at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Pearsall’s career came to an abrupt halt when she was injured in Iraq and later decorated with the Bronze Star and the Air Force Commendation with Valor. As she lay in the hospital and spent hours in waiting rooms listening to the war stories of veterans from every generation, every branch of service and every conflict, she realized she could use her photography to honor these veterans in a very personal way.
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