The Unknown Soldier, David Jay, Photographer

This is what we do.

We spend the bulk of our nation’s resources on war, and then we bring our dead and wounded home and pretend there is no war.

The Unknown Soldier, Photographer David Jay

There is war.

As you get up this morning and drink your coffee—
there is war.
As you walk your dog—
there is war.
As you scan the aisles at the grocery store
and flip off the guy who cut in line
as you sit in your chair at home
and open another bottle of beer
and turn on Game of Thrones—
there is war.

We send young men and women into foreign lands and ask them to do things that bend their minds with what their eyes have seen, and their hands have done, with what they have heard and tasted and smelled.

Pictures like these demand we acknowledge our actions. That we be accountable. They demand we find a better way to co-exist on this planet. Be more humble, more grateful, more creative, more trustworthy, more open to the reality that killing will never—not ever—resolve anything.

Pictures like these ask us to not just look, but see.

Iraqi girl wounded in car bomb. Photographer Michael Yon, 2005

Facts:

Since 2001, approximately 2.5 million service members have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Almost half have been deployed more than once.  

Since the beginning of operations in March, 2003, 6851 U.S. soldiers have been killed

9% of evacuated soldiers lost a major limb.

In total, since the beginning of operations, 675,000 U.S. Veterans have been granted disability.

Studies indicate 22 veterans commit suicide every week.

In Iraq, over 70 percent of those who died of direct war violence have been civilians. Iraq Bidy Count conservatively estimates that at least 133,000 civilians have been killed in direct violence due to war between the invasion and early May 2014

Updated Death and Injury Rates of U.S Military Personnel During Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Congressional Budget Office, December, 2014

To see more pictures go to: The UnKnown Soldier, David Jay, Photographer

For a story on David Jay and his photos go to the NPR story: It’s Not Rude, These Photos are Meant to be Stared At

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