Too many people have lost a friend or a family member in these wars. Too many people have felt this loss. I have worked with and talked with many families who have lost a child or a husband. They have shown me a little bit of what it is like to feel this pain while the rest of our culture continues on. For the rest of the culture the wars were only ever an occasional story in the news. For those who have lost a loved one, their lives have changed forever.
For the 100 Faces project I chose to represent ten people who died as a result of their service. If I were to go on pure statistics I would have only shown 1 fallen soldier in the project of 100 people. Yet I felt it important to show more. This is partly because it is good to be able to work with the families of the fallen. It is partly because I think it is important to show this part of the wars.
Compared to all the people who have lost a loved one ten is a terribly small number. As a result I have decided to personally choose each person who I will represent in the project.
I decided not to accept applications for the fallen because it is heartbreaking both for me and for the friends and families concerned if someone goes through the process of applying and I cannot include their portrait.
The 100 Faces project aims to show a wide ranging picture of the Americans who have gone to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It may seem cold and analytical, but when choosing who to represent posthumously I choose each person based on how they fit into the demographics of the wars. I try to find people who represent the different branches of service, races, and causes of death.
If I cannot include your loved one it is not a reflection on the value of them as a person. It is not a reflection of the value of their service.
If you have lost a loved one, please accept my condolences. Even though I cannot do their portrait I hope that this project may be of service to you in some way.