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Henry, Korean War Veteran
2.15.02
Arts and Culture:
Photojournalist Lori Grinker
More on This Story:
After War

For well over a decade photographer Lori Grinker has been documenting the brutal aftermath of war.

"I think that as an American, I never thought I would never experience war in my country. And I wanted to know about war from the perspective of these people."

These are a few of the many, many veterans she encountered.


Here are Grinker's "After War" stories. Add yours to our Picture of the Week

"Henry Green, pictured above, is a British veteran of the Korean War. You know, he had a successful life, but when it came to the war, he just couldn't speak."

"And he was in this group therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. And every time he attempted to speak in the group he would start to cry. He just broke up so badly that he couldn't talk."


Choeung Pann
Choeung Pann
"This Cambodian man had been a fighter and was out in a field with three comrades when they were hit by a mine and he lost his legs. His wife was helping to care for him. Then he said his dream was to become a tailor."

"He talked about that it seemed normal to have lost your legs because there were so many people like that. Sometimes he gets confused in dreams or waking up and he thinks he has two legs. And that when he realizes that he lost his legs he ... he's very upset. But then, he sees so many other people who also have no legs. He thinks that it's normal."

Shirin Banu Mitil
Shirin Banu Mitil:

"[This woman] is representative of the women (veterans of the Bangladesh War of Independence). She was an educated women and had been participating in the Freedom Fighters Movement for a very long time."

"And the first uprising was in 1969 and she had been a student leader and president of the district union central committee. And in '71, when the war started, she had been trained as a Freedom Fighter by the local administration. So when the fighting started, she'd been on the front lines but she was told that she ... could not fight because she was female. And she thought that, you know, that was the barrier — that she was female — but it was actually just the clothing that was the barrier. And she could change her dress and join up."

"She cut her hair, put on her brother's shirt and pants and ... she joined up and with her cousin went to fight."

"And she certainly felt that it was worth fighting. I mean, she said that she didn't feel they were killing people but that they were killing the enemy. That it was all in defense. And that using the gun gave her a patriotic feeling and that she was doing something for her country."

Uma
Uma:
"This is Uma. And this is not her real name. And she was a ... with the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. She's a Tamil. And, she was literally taken from her home and brought to the front. The Tamils would go into schools and show videos of karate and all these other fun things, and try to convince all these young people to join. And in some cases they were just kidnaped.

And, she's reading a letter from home, I suppose. And they ... soon she ... she would have been with her family. She was getting some education there, and, I suppose being demobilized. Many of them were captured by the government forces. But they really did want to go back to their families, and they didn't want to be fighting. This was just a group of girls, some did join up, because they wanted to learn karate."


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