PURPLE HEARTS - BACK FROM IRAQ by Nina Berman
The words and photos make for a complex portrait of American youth, their values, their dreams, the lack of opportunity facing them upon high school graduation, and the myths of warfare which informed their decisions to join.
One soldier explained that he always wanted to be a hero and thought the military would be fun. He never imagined an RPG attack in Fallujah would leave him a cripple unable to care for a wife and two children. Another described calling the recruiting station after he saw an MTV-style Army commercial on TV. An immigrant from Pakistan, he was given his citizenship following his injury, a fair trade in his mind, a leg for an American passport. Yet another soldier left a crime, drug ridden neighbourhood in Alabama, only to return 100 percent disabled back where he started but now bedridden.
The photographs are accompanied by essays from Verlyn Klinkenborg, an author and editorial writer for the New York Times, and Tim Origer, a Vietnam veteran and former Marine who fought in the Tet offensive. He came back a 19 year-old amputee.
World Press Photo 2005
Nina Berman was awarded 2nd prize in the Portraits stories section for her book Purple Hearts ; Back From Iraq
DAYS JAPAN International Photojournalism Awards 2004 2004
Nina Berman awarded 2nd prize for her book Purple Hearts ; Back From Iraq