Portraits of Service
Portraits of Service, Looking into the faces of veterans
Jon Ciecko, Jr.
...John Ciecko Jr., sixty-eight, spent the first seven years of his life as a prisoner of war. He and his parents were liberated in 1945, moving to the safety of a transition camp for refugees. The family lived at the camp for four years until they were offered freedom and a new life in America. John and his parents settled in Michigan, learned English, and became citizens of the United States.
John expresses deep appreciation and gratitude to the U.S. armed forces and the special soldiers who did so much for his family during their time as POWs. After graduating from high school ... click for the whole story
Helen Rosario
As an army medic Helen Rosario was frequently in as much danger as the combat soldiers, and getting shot at became an everyday occurrence for her. "You'd go out, maybe get shot at, maybe not," she says. "Maybe we'd watch the road in front of us get blown up twenty feet in the air, maybe not. Maybe you'd need to change a tire while a battle was going on, maybe not. Here in the U.S. people freak out over a pothole in the road or about what they'll have for dinner."
The science of the past few years has advanced in leaps and bounds, according to the young and energetic Rosario, who is twenty-five. She explains that centers for traumatic brain injuries ... click for the whole story
Jaspen Boothe
...a single parent with a civilian job living in New Orleans, she was also in the Army Reserves. "In the spring my orders came in," she says, "and I learned I would soon be deploying to Iraq."
Boothe left her civilian job, but her life was soon torn apart by two significant events. In August her personal residence received a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina. "I lost absolutely everything I ever owned in life," she recalls. "To make matters worse, I also became homeless." Boothe's life was in chaos, and then things got worse. Within weeks of the hurricane, she received a diagnosis of cancer. "I had head, neck, and throat cancer,"... click for the whole story
Christopher Edwards
Christopher Edwards is forty years old and a survivor of a 2005 roadside bomb from the war in Iraq. He was in a Bradley fighting vehicle on a route-clearing mission in a small town called Usufia, south of Baghdad, and in command of the five soldiers traveling with him. They had taken a shorter route back to the base when they ran into the bomb, which had been detonated by a cell-phone signal. Luckily, the mortars were pointing sideways instead of upwards, so much of the four-hundred-pound blast was channeled out instead of up. But the entire crew of six was injured, though none quite as badly as their commander. ... click for the whole story
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Imagine that you have just returned home to America from your final tour of duty as a member of the U.S. military, after fighting in the war in Afghanistan or Iraq. You've completed your military service. You are now a civilian for the first time in years and eager to rejoin your family, friends and community. But there is a problem, many problems in fact, which make this reintegration so difficult, and in some cases, seem almost impossible.

You may have had your legs blown off or your face permanently disfigured. You may suffer from a traumatic brain injury or recurring nightmares of the horrors of war that make restful sleep impossible. To make matters even worse, you can't get a job or the support, shelter and medical care you need to reintegrate into society.

But you don't have to imagine what it would be like to return from war. You only have to read the stories of the veterans pictured here. Their stories are typical of the stories of the 21 million veterans who live with the terrible consequences of putting their lives on the line for our freedom.

We owe them everything and can never do enough, and The Patton Foundation will, with your help, support our troops and veterans from all wars, from World War II to Afghanistan, by making grants to IRS 501(c) (3) non-profit organizations that provide for the critical and special needs of troops, veterans and their families. Veterans can never forget the price they paid to protect our freedom, and neither will we.