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February 29, 2012

Veterans History Project Examines Military Photography

Veterans Who Documented America’s Wars Reflect on Historic Images

The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP) has launched "Military Photographers: Framing the Shot,"( the 36th website feature in the Experiencing War series. "Framing the Shot" presents the accounts of 15 veterans who photographed the defining conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries. These stories are among the 11,000 digitized collections of the Veterans History Project. More than 80,000 stories can be found at

"The Veterans History Project is committed to preserving the stories of all who served, whether they shot a gun or shot a photograph," said Veterans History Project Director Bob Patrick. "The work of these combat photographers provide a first-hand look at the realities of war, and the stories of how they took those photographs are vital for future generations of scholars, educators and the interested public."

Whether taking pictures from the air or on the ground, these photographers endured enemy action and harsh conditions to capture the perfect shot. Serving in the Pacific Theater in World War II, motion-picture photographer Norman Hatch invaded the island of Tarawa along with his fellow Marines. His footage of the battle was so gripping that he would later win an Academy Award for documentary filmmaking.

During the Vietnam conflict, Ronald Wayne Marshall went out missions with Army and Air Force units to document their activities -- including the use of Agent Orange. Working for the Combat Camera Group during the Persian Gulf War, Kevin Tierney felt privileged to use his camera in order to tell the stories of his comrades.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 152 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at

Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 as a national documentation program of the American Folklife Center ( to collect, preserve and make accessible the first-hand remembrances of American wartime veterans from World War I through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The project relies on volunteers to record veterans’ remembrances using guidelines accessible at Volunteers may request more information at or the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to VHP’s RSS feed on the VHP home page.

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PR 12-040
ISSN 0731-3527

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