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Portraits of Soldiers Before, During, and After War

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by machine gewehr, Mar 8, 2013.


  1. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Wow. Powerful.

    No other words.
     
  2. SherwoodGreen

    SherwoodGreen Banned

    Dec 25, 2012
    Pretty intense.
    My Father (RIP) passed away 3 years ago at age 97.

    He was a WWII ETO Combat Veteran whose unit sustained over 80% casualties.
    He told me many stories of his battle experiences in France and Germany before he was wounded and sent home (minus a finger!).
    Some were incredibly funny (stumbling into and imbibing from a World-Class Winery in France) to of course horrific- (D-Day and Battle of the Bulge).

    Never was in the service myself, much respect to all who serve or have served honorably.

    Combat/ War is not a good thing.
    Sometimes necessary I suppose, absolutely was the case in WWII.

    Thanks for the interesting post.
     
  3. honestly expected it to look something akin to crystal meth before and after pics. I mean no disrespect by that only that [I believe] the stress and strain of war would wear them down greatly, but to my surprise a lot of them seem stronger and more resolute and even, dare I say, "better" by the final picture.

    surprising.
     
  4. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Very powerful. I witnessed this when my brother got drafted and sent to Vietnam. He was there during the Tet offesive, and he was in Hue when it was taken by the Viet-Cong. He was not the same person when he returned. He still won't talk about it.
     
  5. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    It's interesting to see how much leaner a lot of these guys look in the "after" pics.
     
  6. thefruitfarmer

    thefruitfarmer

    Feb 25, 2006
    Kent UK
    It looks as if something is there and taken away, leaving a shell of the former man.
     
  7. ErebusBass

    ErebusBass

    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    I disagree. Look closely at the eyes.
     
  8. Rocker949

    Rocker949

    Apr 20, 2005
    The look of determination on the "during" pictures is so obvious on most of them. I would have expected this to an extent, but not to that extent. Grace under fire--so to speak.
     
  9. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I was not expecting such a drastic transformation. I'd be curious to see what they look like a year later.
     
  10. SherwoodGreen

    SherwoodGreen Banned

    Dec 25, 2012
    My Dad told me that he saw entire cities reduced to rubble, he saw fellow soldiers he trained with and knew well killed n action beside him, and legend has it that after a speech designed to inspire the troops before battle, he told General Patton himself to "Go &*(*^ Yourself!"
    Knowing how my Dad was I believe it!

    But the most memorable thing he ever told me about his Combat experiences was:

    "It's always been my feeling that Man was meant to Create, not Destroy."

    I'll never forget him telling me that.
     
  11. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    To me, the eyes tell the story of the things that can never be unseen.
     
  12. michael_atw

    michael_atw

    Feb 28, 2009
    Jamestown, NY
    That's what I expected. Frankly, I don't really find it all that powerful. I think I can apply some placebo effect by the sole fact they are soldiers but going on the photos alone I don't see anything special about it.
     
  13. michael_atw

    michael_atw

    Feb 28, 2009
    Jamestown, NY
    That's exactly what I looked at. For many, their eyes didn't change and some look "worse" in the first photo.
     
  14. Gopherbassist

    Gopherbassist

    Jan 19, 2008
    Pairman looks the least changed. His facial expression is exactly the same in all three.



    They've got a link to a drug use before and after thing that's fake. Is this one with the soldiers real?
     
  15. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    No doubt, experiencing war changes a man (I say as someone who has not had to experience it). You have to honor that.

    At the same time, I'm a bit skeptical here. I think some of the differences between people's reactions here shows a basic truth; people see what they want (or expect) to see. To one person a pair of eyes seems "determined and resolute," to another they are "hollow and traumatized" (I'm not quoting anyone in particular, just the variety of reactions). The page presenting these photos tries to condition what we expect to see by invoking supposed "innocence" of the before pics with the "gaunt, sullen" after pics.

    I don't think there's anything so straightforward or unambiguous here. Instead, it's like a kind of Rorschach blot; what you see in these faces says more about you than the person the picture is of.
     
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I don't see a significant difference in most of the photos. I even found myself looking to see if there was any direction as to which was old and which was new. I assume they want left-to-right in time, but I could only see that in a few photos.

    People make a big deal out of "look in the eyes" but I don't see much difference. I wonder if people are reading what they want to see into the photos.

    To me, there's no big deal there. The lighting changes don't help, and as far as I can tell the photos might simply have been taken at different times of the day.
     
  17. nortonrider

    nortonrider

    Nov 20, 2007
    I don't see significant differences either.
     
  18. paste

    paste

    Oct 3, 2011
    Michigan
    Same. Besides facial hair/expression, weight loss, and lighting - or the lack of, I dont see any significant changes. Of course some of them are going to change, seeing how some of them are only 18 years old and have much growth left to do.
     
  19. Rocker949

    Rocker949

    Apr 20, 2005
    I realized that determination didn't cover the complete thought, but I'm not sure if just one word in the English language or any language could. I was never in the military myself, but my father was and he experienced combat extensively, way more than many people. I've seen pictures of him, too, during that time and the demeanor was definitely way different than "after" pictures.
     

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