Location: Savannah, GA, United States
My Brother’s War is a ten-chapter series of personal photographs reflecting my investigation into the circumstances of my brother’s early death after the war in Viet Nam. The work is about loss, healing, hope, and living in the aftermath of war – both for a veteran and for his family and friends.
Gary was sent to Viet Nam at the height of the war in 1967. He arrived in Qui Nhon on November 4th. It was my 8th birthday. Honorably discharged from the army in 1969 with a “service connected nervous condition,” we later came to know his plight as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My pre-war brother, a normal and well-adjusted person, had become, according to the US Veterans Administration, 50% disabled. He took his own life about ten years later.
Determined to find more information about what happened to him, I contacted his comrades 35 years after the war, traveled to a reunion of his platoon, found the home where he died, his burial place, and twice I traveled to Chu Lai, Viet Nam, where Gary was stationed during the war. I used his photographs and letters to serve as my guides, sometimes combining his photographic vision with mine. The project, eleven years’ of effort, has evolved and changed with time, using a variety of formats to tell the story.
In titling this work, “My Brother’s War”, I make reference to other families worldwide that have lost, and are presently losing, loved ones to war. My work seeks to inspire, as the only alternative, a peaceful coexistence.