Gray Land

Photographer Barry Goldstein spent two years with the members of the Third Brigade Combat Team. He interviewed over 50 members of the Second Battalion, Sixty-ninth Armored Regiment, beginning in 2005 when they returned home from their second deployment in Iraq. When they deployed again in 2007, he was embedded with them twice. The result is the book “Gray Land: Soldiers on War,” a collection of portraits, field photographs, and candid narratives in the soldiers’ own words about serving in the army and the toll of war. Listen to Goldstein’s thoughts about his project and excerpts from his interviews with the soldiers, edited by Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly senior associate producer Patti Jette Hanley.

Watch “Gray Land”:


Listen to photographer Barry Goldstein:


  • margot livesey

    Dear Mr. Goldstein,

    thank you for these incredibly eloquent comments. I have been reading Gray Land with deep pleasure, and a significant part of that pleasure comes from the sense that I really am seeing the soldiers, and hearing them talk about their experiences, in a very unadorned way. You absolutely succeed in not getting between your subjects and their experiences. Thank-you!

    And the photographs are breath-taking.


    Margot Livesey

  • Eric Garnick

    The interviews and Mr. Goldstein’s comments were riveting and insightful. The photos posted here are marvelous but don’t do justice to the book, which is both harrowing and beautiful. The helicopter boarding photo in the montage above is, in the book, just amazing. – thank you!

  • Eric Garnick

    [to religion and Ethics staff: I wanted to add 5-star rating to my comment, but interface didn't let me do so ...]

  • COL Russell Conrad

    Unless you study the human aspects of military operations, it is difficult to comprehend the depth of commitment and sacrifice of our soldiers. Dr. Goldstein’s effort seems to help us understand where that comes from.