The Story Behind That Photo Of The Vets On The Porch

Photograhper Shannon Adams, The Deviant LensPhotograhper Shannon Adams, The Deviant Lens

never-drink-aloneBy now you have probably seen the photo of the Veterans on the porch shared online.  Someone sent the image to us to share on our facebook page on August 24th and the photo had some text at the top that read “We never drink alone” (pictured right).  If you have not seen the original photo, a cropped version is shown above.  You can also view the full photo below.

The photo depicts a veteran in a Marine uniform sitting on a front porch of a home with a bottle of beer in his hand with his head is slightly bent as if he was deep in thought.  Circled around this veteran are some other veterans in uniform, drinking beers, smoking, smiling and laughing.  These Veterans are washed out in the photos as if they are the ghosts of the buddies that the veteran who is deep in thought had served with.  The photo itself is powerful, there is really no need to add any additional text to it.  As a matter of fact, it is better left with no text to describe to try to sum up the photo because the photo tells a story in itself.

The “thinking Vet” in the photo is Ryan Wilson, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran.  The photo is from a series of photos taken by Shannon Adams, an extraordinary photographer from Tampa, Florida.  Shannon herself has felt the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Her father was an Army Ranger who served multiple tours overseas.  Shannon explains on her website that when she was younger, her father would “wake up in the middle of the night to my dad screaming into the darkness of his room. He’d realize what was happening, tell me to go back to bed and that he was fine. I walked in on him sitting on the couch once, crying.”  At the time, Shannon did not understand what her father was going through and would only learn more about PTSD after his death in 2008.

Shannon was inspired to do this series of photos after reading a story written by a Soldier which was published on the esquire website.  The story, “I Miss Iraq. I Miss My Gun. I Miss My War.” is the thoughts of a Soldier who has been home from his deployment to Iraq for a year and is coming to grips with his time in Iraq.  If you have not read the story, you can check it out here.

Hoping to bring more awareness to PTSD, Shannon has used her skills to create this series of photographs which are being sold with 100% of the proceeds going to a ONE MAPS Inc., a company that works with Veterans who have PTSD.

Check out Shannon’s work below.  If you would like to learn more about Shannon Adams, you can visit her website at thedeviantlens.com.  For information on how to purchase prints of this series, contact her here.






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