This weekend marks Veterans Day, and it's a day that has come to be very special to me. Over the years, I have done a number of stories to honor those who have served the country, and this year brings a bit of a new twist.
Although I make my living 'in front' of the camera, I've been spending a lot more time on the 'other' side of the lens lately. 'Still' photography has become a passion of mine, and I decided to try something different for this story. I spent a few days, at the VA Medical facility in Vancouver last month - and met a number of the veterans who were being treated. Unlike most assignments, I didn't have one of our 'video' photojounalists with me. It was just me - and my 'still' camera. At first, only a couple of the veterans had agreed to participate, but by the end of my time there, more and more of them said they would help me with the project.
The stories I heard, and the time I spent with each of them, was very personal - and powerful. I can't tell you how much it meant to me.
I later returned - WITH one of our video photographers, and interviewed a handful of the veterans I had photographed earlier. My vision for this, was to string together several of their comments -- about country, service, sacrifice, and the meaning of Veterans Day -- and then cover the story with as many of my 'still' images as possible.
On a side note, I want to thank Mike McAleer - the Public Affairs Officer with the Portland VA Medical Center. Without his help, this story would not have happened.
I'm thinking I may get some questions about the music, too.. so, in case anyone is wondering -- the song I used for the story is called, "Our Town" - by James Taylor.
And if you'd like to see more of the pictures of the veterans - you can view a slideshow by clicking here.
I hope you get a chance to watch the final product -- during our Sunday morning news. It's scheduled to run at the end of the 7 o'clock hour. I invite you to settle in with a cup of coffee, and enjoy this tribute to Veterans Day. And to those of you who have served, and are currently serving -- I salute you.
Have a great weekend.