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Thoughts of Afghanistan

My Photo scholarship 2011 entry

Worldwide | Wednesday, 19 October 2011 | 5 photos


These photos tell the story of my recent deployment to Afghanistan as a soldier in the U.S. Army. My service exposed me to different cultures in the world, but it was this particular experience that opened my eyes. These photos display the events of my first patrol in Laghman Province, which is located in eastern Afghanistan. These photos were taken by a simple digital point-and-shoot camera, yet friends were amazed at the story the photos told. Despite my reluctance with a typical Army mission, this particular event was a blessing in disguise. It was an opportunity to deliver food and toys to the children affected by the war; to hold conversations in Dari and Pashto with local elders; to sleep with the stars and the mountains that identify the region; to immerse myself in a culture that was initially outside of my comfort zone. I was raised on a farm in rural Iowa, a place where men typically lead simple lives, raise their families, and work to make ends meet. I have left, but not forgotten, Iowa and the Army because I wanted to continue to explore life outside of my own. Despite the obvious cultural, religious, and political differences, the people of this beautiful country lead similar lives to the people of my hometown. By using photography, I have found a medium to share my passion with the world, whether it’s shared with friends and family or with a world that desires to interpret the story I'm presenting. I have enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography and enjoyed the lessons and practical exercises thus far. Photography has helped me to explore new worlds and, with all honesty, I want more. Regardless of the results of this scholarship, it is a privilege to have my photos evaluated and will continue to learn, apply, and share.

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