Death Smiled At Me



September 28, 2011.  That was the day it all changed.  And that, I believe, was the turning point which catapulted you in the direction of your purpose.  You know what I enjoyed most from the day I photographed you?  It was the way you just…unfolded.  I remember you telling me you would avoid doing stuff like this, because it was uncomfortable.  But when I talked to you about it, you didn’t even hesitate.  Neither of us were exactly sure what to expect when I started shooting.  But as I continually clicked, you just opened up.  Instead of probing you like I was some journalist, or interviewing you with run-of-the-mill questions, your memories just took control.  I remember you telling me “it happened so fast” and that you thought you were blind from the blast.  Turns out, it was just the dirt covering your glasses…those same glasses you slid back on in front of me…with the original dirt still caked in place.  You stared right through me, and into the scene of your accident in Afghanistan.

As I edited your images, I quickly saw the spectrum of human emotion written all over your face.  Even though I was continuously shooting, I would lock onto you through the lens.  I hardly remember holding my camera that day.  And you know what’s funny?  You weren’t even trying.  You’d go from serious and reliving a moment from when you got injured, to laughing as you’d share a funny story about your comrades or your process of healing on the basketball court at the Center for the Intrepid.  You confidently and proudly switched out your prosthetic legs to show them off and demonstrate how they worked.  And I’ll tell you…you wear them well.  Keep kicking butt as you pursue your degree in Physical Therapy!

Thank you for being brave.  And for letting me see you–heart, skin, and soul.   You are titanium.





Rick’s website:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: