I’m still nervous about going out in public. Since my infection, the left side of my face is noticeably different from my right. My left eye is slightly smaller than my right eye, now. I have quite the gnarly scar on the left side of my nose. But what I have gone through is nothing compared to what some of our vets have experienced, as illustrated by photographer Michael Stokes . . .
The 52-year-old photographer is publishing a Kickstarter-funded coffee table photography book entitled Always Loyal. It captures images of veterans who’ve lost limbs and suffered extreme scarring as a result of fighting in wars for the United States. The subjects pose with guns or flags, and sometimes nothing at all.
I am in awe of every single veteran who had the testicular fortitude to participate in this project. When I see what these brave men (and a few women) have gone through in service for our country, when I see the confidence they’ve protected (or resurrected) after their injuries, it puts my cosmetic concerns into their proper perspective.
The book makes an important point about how we view veterans. We should not ignore them, or pretend they don’t exist, no matter what they did in uniform or how it affected them. It’s not simply a matter of saying “thank you for your service.” We need to look them straight in the eye and acknowledge them as individual, unique human beings. Americans who have just as much to give now as they did during their service to our country.
Every scar has a tale. And every human has some burden to carry. Some more than others.
H/T [Daily Mail]