Monday, June 12, 2017
Thursday, June 8, 2017
For my photo essay I chose to photograph the local VFW( Veterans of Foreign War). I chose this because a few back I remember visiting their post and having breakfast there with my dad. Even though I was kind of a quiet person at the time I still quite enjoyed observing my surroundings and listening to the stories as well as conversations that they had. They are very kind people there and you can tell that they like sharing their stories or just talking regularly to younger generations. So in summary I wanted to draw more attention to them because even though there are about 6,500 VFW posts worldwide you don’t really ever hear about them. Since the veterans are getting older sometimes people don’t like to listen to them really tell their stories; however, even if it is just out of respect you show. These people served are country and put their life on the line. They went through so much so that we could have our freedom, and most are very humble about it.
Choosing this topic was my first choice but I was nervous about it. I thought that maybe they wouldn’t want their picture taken or they wouldn’t get why I wanted to because I’m so horrible at explaining things. Luckily they weren't like that actually quite the opposite. They were very kind right from the get go. When I was explaining why I had chosen them as my photo essay topic the gave me their attention and said that they were happy to. All of them are so nice and kind I believe that more people should give them time and hear their stories or simply just talk to them. You can see from the pictures just how friendly they are
These first pictures are of them during one of their Saturday breakfasts at their post. The bottom pictures show awards along with a sign that says agent orange health club life member. There is an explanation to this interesting sign. During the Vietnam War the U.S used many different herbicides one of them being agent orange. They used it to clear forests in Vietnam; however overtime they realized that it effect your health. So now all these veterans that were exposed to this are now prone to many different health risks or early death. Because of this for a long time many veterans fought with the government to be re compensated for what they had to go through and “In 1979, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 2.4 million veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during their service in Vietnam. Five years later, in an out-of-court-settlement, seven large chemical companies that manufactured the herbicide agreed to pay $180 million in compensation to the veterans or their next of kin. Various challenges to the settlement followed, including lawsuits filed by some 300 veterans, before the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed it in 1988. By that time, the settlement had risen to some $240 million including interest. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Agent Orange Act, which mandated that some diseases associated with defoliants (including non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, soft tissue sarcomas and chloracne) be treated as the result of wartime service and helped codify the VA’s response to veterans with conditions related to their exposure to Agent Orange.”(AGENT ORANGE)
This second group of pictures shows them on Memorial weekend handing out poppies in the local Fred Meyers and Cabela's. Along with the poppy them also handed out a pamphlet explaining what the poppies do and what they mean. Here is a link for some history about them https://www.vfw.org/community/community-initiatives/buddy-poppy .