14 Soldiers Had Their Pictures Taken Before, During, And After War. The Results Are Disturbing!

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The ravages of war can be seen everywhere, both while it’s raging and long after the conflict has passed. The destruction and harm that’s inflicted on property, buildings, the landscape, families, people’s lives, and so much more ends up devastating and destroying vast areas and cities.

It’s a fact that the effects of war change people, how could it not? Bearing witness to shocking acts of brutality and seeing pain and suffering being inflicted, day after day until you’re numb to it, would profoundly impact a person. That’s part of why a significant amount of our nations Veterans end up suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other types of traumatic brain injuries.

The long term mental, emotional, and spiritual repercussions of war are hard to describe and even harder to ascertain or begin to fully understand. Perhaps that is why these photographs of soldiers taken before, during, and after tours of duty in Afghanistan are so powerful.

The men’s faces stare back starkly at the viewer and convey so much feeling and emotion, yet at the same time there is something missing and haunting about all of them. The physical changes across the board are surprising and revealing all at once. The men turn from normal and carefree looking to stressed, gaunt, hardened soldiers.

However, it’s the eyes that show the most emotion and pain, and they reveal the true costs that war has on people. The pictures were captured by British photojournalist Lalage Snow while she was based in Afghanistan back in 2010. She was on assignment and had followed the lives and experiences of a group of soldiers from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Snow spent a period of seven months documenting the soldiers who had been deployed to Afghanistan on a mission to help train the new Afghan Army. The first picture she took of each man was done before they were sent abroad and while they were still in the UK.

The second photo was taken after the men had spent 3 months in Afghanistan on the battlefield, and the third final photograph was taken just three days after they had returned home.  The series of portraits, along with interviews of the men, comprise Snow’s “We Are The Not Dead” Project.

Her goal for the work was to not only honor the soldier’s bravery, but to also shed light on the mental and emotional wounds that war leaves behind on those who serve their countries.

Not every injury is physical and more needs to be done all around to help veterans returning from combat.

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