The bonds I formed during my embeds are immeasurable. I have become an accidental member of a motley club. We stay in touch through social media and when the cosmos align, I journey to visit their new homes. We talk about the crazy things we saw overseas, share pictures of our kids, and I take portraits of them in their new life. They are transforming in remarkable ways.
More than the length of their hair or the raw new tats they wear like badges of honor, these once vibrant young people are now scared, tired and hallow.
As some 30,000 troops try to find their way home in the coming years, it is a vitally important subject that deserves historical record.
I call this new series on Afghanistan vets “Ghosting Home”, As they try to occupy the spaces where they once lived. Through their eyes I often reflect on those of my own father, a Vietnam vet and single dad who tried to raise my sister and I as best he could while haunted by combat.