SAN DIEGO – On Tuesday night in San Diego, an exhibit premiered that honors our veterans in a special way. The photography and graphic design programs at San Diego City College came together for the exhibit called Voices: Honoring Veterans.
On the walls of City College’s Luxe gallery, there are now pictures, faces of some of the selfless men and women who did something remarkable for the rest of us. “I think we lucked out with this. We got some really great subjects,” said City College Professor of Photography David King. King, a vet himself, took all of the photos, vets from World War Two all the way up to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I really wanted the people to concentrate on them, on their face, on their eyes, on their expression,” King said.
That is not a difficult task. Walking through the gallery, you find yourself drawn to these people, imagining the things they’ve seen that animated their faces as King’s camera captured the moment. Everything shot in black and white, to, in a subtle way, make the point that these people, from whatever era, share a common trait, the urge to serve their country, a cause greater than themselves.
“When I see their pictures I kind of in a sense see myself as well. When I read their stories, I can kind of have something to relate to,” said Tyler Norman, who’s a Navy vet. He served four years on the USS Ronald Reagan. “It’s really cool to see everyone, not only to see the stories that each one of us has but also to interact with one another to see what branches we came from but also to really know that we’re out there,” Norman said.
All branches, all ages. James Reily, Jr. who served in the Vietnam era, and his dad James, Sr., a World War II vet, are evidence of that. “For me, it has a great feeling of appreciation, and a feeling of camaraderie here among the vets here,” Reily, Jr. said.
But this exhibit is about more than photos. It also features these wonderful drawings, done by Carol Johnson. The WWII correspondent sketched what he saw around him, the laughs, the sadness from that war of wars. The veterans of that day, the veterans of today. One more thing they all have in common is humility. “The veterans are out there and we’re just people like everyone else,” Tyler Norman said.