Opinion - Portraits of War- True Inspiration

As a person who is not fond of graphic images, I was apprehensive about going to view the “Portraits of War” exhibit at the college’s Sisson Gallery. What I found when I entered was not at all what I expected.
From the first portrait I saw I was instantly moved. As artist Emily Bolin wrote in the statement next to her artwork, she expected to find veterans who were many years older than herself, but was surprised when she found a slew of men around her own age (early twenties).
As a young college student, I felt the same impact. I saw men not too many years older than myself and with young children by their bedside. It really made me think about the rest of their lives, their lives that were just getting to a start with their partners and children.
These were not images of men who would peacefully live out retirement as an injured soldier, spending days sitting in a rocker, telling grandchildren these tales, they were men who will deal with raising children and possibly never getting to do many things young men aspire to do with their sons and daughters.
Reading their stories of bravery and realizing how dedicated these men truly are to each other and to us who comfortably sit in our homes. We don’t give their sacrifices a second thought until a project as moving as this comes around to shock us back into the reality of what they live out every single day for us.
Although the images were graphic, as I expected they would be, they were not in any way “gross” or “gory”. They were nothing short of motivational food for thought. I strongly encourage you to check out this exhibition while it lasts because it is truly inspirational and thought-provoking, so long as you’re willing to listen.