Author Archives: Nate Rawlings

In Sandy’s Shadow: How the Redfern Houses’ True Ordeal Began After the Storm

For Angela Williams, the routine was the same each day. She would leave her apartment, shuffle through a dark hallway and down a concrete stairwell, and stand in line for freeze-dried military rations handed out by Red Cross workers. The wait could last an hour. Williams, 45, would drop food off at her mother’s place a few buildings over, then push through her rheumatoid arthritis to hike the six flights back up to her apartment. There she would sit in darkness, trying not to go insane.

Its like were living in an abandoned building,” says Williams. “No hot water, no heat, no nothing.

Even in ordinary times, life in the Redfern Houses wasnt easy. The complex stands in the northeastern section of Far Rockaway, Queens, not far from the runways of JFK Airport. Inside nine faded-brick towers are 1,780 people in 604 apartments. Residents pay an average rent of $472 a month to the New York City Housing Authority. The architecture screams projects; so do the rusted trim and scuffed linoleum lobby floors. A security system includes 141 high-tech cameras designed to be triggered by the sound of gunshots, installed by the city after a three-day wave of shootings in 2008 left two people dead and five injured. And yet, many residents have made Redfern their home, working hard to keep their apartments immaculate inside regardless of the projects dingy exterior.

Then came Sandy. A little after dusk on Oct. 29, the storm piled water from Motts Basin over Beach Channel Drive and submerged the low-slung wrought iron fence surrounding the towers. Around 8 p.m., the lights went off. Elevators throughout the six and seven-story buildings were halted; heat went out, and appliances shut down. You looked out the window and it was so dark, you didnt know it was water until you seen it moving, says David Stephens, who lives on the fourth floor. As quickly as it came, the water receded, leaving the wet grounds covered in darkness.

For many in Sandys path, the storm itself was terrifying. On Staten Island, houses collapsed, crushing people underneath; in Breezy Point, families fled blocks of homes in flames. But in Redfern, the real struggle began the next day, when it became clear that power wouldnt return for weeks. seo marketing . For people who felt forgotten to begin with, warehoused in a housing project at the farthest corner of the city, it became easy to think that they are last in line for repairs.Engineers from the Army and Air Force have been pumping sand and saltwater out of the buildings’ basements, only to come back the next morning to waterlogged utility rooms they must pump out again.

The lack of power forced Sheree Pinders four children to sleep huddled in the living room under piles of blankets because the two bedrooms were so cold they could see their breath freeze. Rebecca Glynn, a hospital secretary, returned to work, but every night a bus ferried her home to the blackout zone, which she describes as a daily trip back into hell.

Still, most in Redfern count their blessings; the buildings suffered no structural damage. Late Sunday night, 14 days after the storm, electrical companies had finally hooked up every building to a generator, which means lights in the hallways, but still no heat in peoples apartments. You have your moments. Maybe three days ago I came out of the building and just started crying, Williams says. I never disrespected the homeless, but I look at them in a totally different light. Were in the same predicament.


Finlay MacKay is a regularcontributorto TIME.

Taking His Time: A Look Back at 50 Years of Joel Meyerowitz’s Photographs

The 1939 edition of Robert Frost’s Collected Poems contained an introductory essay that wasn’t in the first edition. In that article, entitled “The Figure a Poem Makes,” Frost wrote, “Like giants we are always hurling experience ahead of us to pave the future with against the day when we may want to strike a line of purpose across it for somewhere.”

Though he didn’t know it at the time, acclaimed photographer Joel Meyerowitz began hurling his own experiences ahead of him in 1962. While working as an art director at an advertising agency, Meyerowitz met photographer Robert Frank who was shooting a clothing brochure. Meyerowitz watched Frank move while he photographed, and he had an incredible epiphany. On the way back to the office, Meyerowitz walked the streets of New York for more than an hour. “I felt like I was reading the text of the street in a way that I never had before,” he says.

When he returned to the office, Meyerowitz told his boss, Harry Gordon, that he was quitting. He wanted to be a photographer. Gordon then asked him a crucial question: did he have a camera? The answer was no, so Gordon lent him a 35mm camera and Meyerowitz embarked on the great journey of his life.

Over the next 50 years Meyerowitz exhibited at the MoMA, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, published books and taught photography at Cooper Union. But there was always one place where you had a chance to run into him and become immortalized in his gargantuan body of work. Meyerowitz is, first and foremost, a street photographer. Though he has shot street scenes in France, Germany, Atlanta, Ohio and dozens of places in between, the chaotic streets of New York City make up his favorite studio. “Fifth Avenue is my boulevard,” he says. “No street in the world, and I’ve traveled a lot, has for me the kind of sexy, improvisatory collisions between elegance and lowness. You can see bike messengers and models, billionaires and hustlers, and it’s all out there every day.”

That first day with Robert Frank served as more than just a catalytic inspiration; it laid the foundation for how Meyerowitz would record street life. He bobs and weaves through the throngs of people, searching for that serendipitous moment that becomes a great photograph. “The way someone makes a gesture on the street or the way couples react to each other or the simultaneity of two things happening at the same time and the relationship between them,” are some of the elements he looks for. “It was the wonder of human nature and this incredible capacity for things to keep showing themselves to me,” he says.

Image: Joel Meyerowitz: Taking My Time (Phaidon Press, November 2012)

Phaidon Press

Joel Meyerowitz: Taking My Time (Phaidon Press. Limited Edition including signed print, November 2012)

When he is shooting on the street, there isn’t much time to contemplate each moment. “Photography takes place in a fraction of a second,” Meyerowitz says. “There isn’t a lot of time to think about things. You have to hone your instinct. You learn to hone that skill and timing so you’re in the right place at the right time.” Although he has made images that have moved audiences for decades, that has never been his true motivation. “I’m not out there to make another ‘great picture,’” he says. “I’m really out there to feel what it feels like to be alive and conscious in that moment. In a sense, the record of my photographs is a record of moments of consciousness and awareness that have come to me in my life.”

This year, the 50th anniversary of when he first took up the camera, Meyerowitz compiled hundreds of his favorite images for the two-volume collection, Joel Meyerowitz: Taking My Time (Phaidon Press). The project isn’t just a greatest hits collection. “It’s easy to make a book of your very best things and not necessarily have a narrative arc,” he says. “I wanted to stick strictly to the chronology as precisely as I could and show my own development.” The result is a visual biography of an artist who for half a century has snapped moments–fractions of seconds–and preserved them forever. Each tells a unique story that Meyerowitz has used to pave his life. Through the images of people and places and tiny moments in time, one can see a remarkable line of purpose he has created, one that runs fluidly across the experience of his life.

Joel Meyerowitz is a New York City-based photographer. Beginning Nov. 2, his work will be displayed in a two-part solo show at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York.

LightBox previously featured Meyerowitz’s photographs of the destruction and reconstruction at Ground Zero.

Erin Trieb’s Homecoming Project: Capturing War Through Veteran Tales

For two years, Sergeant Major Pat Corcoran had no recollection of the most important week of his life. On Aug. 13, 2009, Corcoran was on a patrol in eastern Afghanistan. He had just finished checking on his troops on the ground, who were clearing the sides of a roadway for hidden bombs, when he climbed into his armored vehicle, buckled his harness and told his driver to move out. A second later, a bomb erupted right underneath Corcoran’s seat; he woke up a week later in Germany.

Sergeant Corcoran discusses his journey to recovery after being injured in Afghanistan.

During those missing days, many people worked furiously to keep Corcoran alive: his soldiers dragged him from the upside-down vehicle, and combat medics tried to stabilize his injuries; a flight crew working with the 8th Forward Surgical Team (FST) in Logar Province flew to the scene of the blast and ferried him away. Once Corcoran made it to the FST headquarters–a trauma center close to the battlefield–the doctors and nurses from the 8th FST labored for more than eight hours to stabilize his injuries. The blast broke Corcoran’s legs and pelvis; a piece of the roadway, under which the bomb had been buried, hit him just below his body armor vest; his spinal cord was also broken, and midway through that chaotic day, the medical team learned he would be paralyzed.

Corcoran might never have learned about those heroic efforts to save his life were it not for photographer Erin Trieb, who was embedded with the 8th FST. When the call came over the radio about casualties from an Improvised Explosive Device, Trieb grabbed her camera and hopped on the helicopter. While flight medics worked to keep Corcoran alive during the flight, she photographed their work in the cramped helicopter cabin, then kept shooting in the trauma center, marveling at how the medics, nurses and doctors had the drill down to an exact science. “It was like watching a symphony being conducted—they knew their jobs so well,” Trieb says.

As soon as Corcoran arrived, it was clear he was different from most of the patients they’d seen: young soldiers, most in their early 20s. Corcoran was one of very few sergeants major to be wounded during Trieb’s time with the FST, and he was one of the most severely wounded of all the casualties. They found out he had been set to retire in less than six months after 24 years of service, and that he had young children at home. “He was so close to dying several times, it was up and down emotions the entire day,” Trieb says. “It took a very long time to stabilize him. As soon as the doctors and nurses would stabilize him, something would happen.”

Once Corcoran was finally stable enough to be moved, the flight team took him to Bagram Airfield, then he was flown to Germany for more extensive surgeries. Trieb, meanwhile, set to the task of organizing the shots that emerged from the day’s chaos. “It’s a very strange process,” she says. “You’re looking at pictures of someone basically almost dying and you’re like, ‘Which one looks better?’ You’re trying to do your job and I don’t think any of that hits you until much after the fact.”

While Trieb finished her embed in Afghanistan, Corcoran began his long journey home. In Germany, he developed an ileus, a condition where his abdomen filled with fluid, and an infection raged through his body. Doctors wanted to fuse his broken spinal cord, but feared he would die during such an extended surgery. So they flew him to the U.S., where he spent six weeks in the intensive care unit at Walter Reed hospital before doctors were able to repair his spinal cord during several more surgeries.

About two months after Corcoran was wounded, Trieb sent him some of her photographs. Then in April this year, she traveled to Florida to meet Corcoran for the first time. After months of living in hospitals, Corcoran and his family moved into a house designed for wounded warriors. Trieb showed him the photographs from the day of his injury and filled him in on the frantic hours after the bomb blast. “I was absolutely amazed to see them,” Corcoran says. “All of these dark visions, those began to get filled in. There’s so much that I don’t know. Come to find out, she knew, and remarkably had photographs of it all. Most people would be disturbed by that. I was elated, to say the least.”

Trieb also photographed Corcoran’s physical therapy as he continued to work to gain strength and fully recover nearly two years after being wounded. “These injuries don’t just stop because the soldier is home,” Pat’s wife, Becky, says. “These are life-long injuries that will never go away.” Trieb’s photographs of Pat’s therapy will be added to a growing collection for The Homecoming Project, a non-profit organization Trieb started that uses visual storytelling to illuminate the ongoing issues of veterans from the past decades’ wars.

The Homecoming Project, which began when Trieb spent months with soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division after their return from Afghanistan, documents the struggles many troops face when they return home from combat. “Somehow, we’ve got to have a conversation about these two wars in a way that’s palpable for the public and in a way that they’re not burned out seeing or hearing it,” Trieb says. “It’s been too long and I feel like it doesn’t even faze them. It’s my job to be a journalist and report, but ultimately it’s my passion to reach the public in a really meaningful way.” It is a mission that Corcoran is proud to support with his own story. “I couldn’t be more proud of her and organizations like that,” Pat says. “I was tickled to death to be able to meet her and have some common understanding about this whole thing. She’ll go a long way with that work.”

Erin Trieb is an Austin-based photographer. See more of her work on her website and learn more about The Homecoming Project here.

Erin Trieb’s Homecoming Project: Capturing War Through Veteran Tales

For two years, Sergeant Major Pat Corcoran had no recollection of the most important week of his life. On Aug. 13, 2009, Corcoran was on a patrol in eastern Afghanistan. He had just finished checking on his troops on the ground, who were clearing the sides of a roadway for hidden bombs, when he climbed into his armored vehicle, buckled his harness and told his driver to move out. A second later, a bomb erupted right underneath Corcoran’s seat; he woke up a week later in Germany.

Sergeant Corcoran discusses his journey to recovery after being injured in Afghanistan.

During those missing days, many people worked furiously to keep Corcoran alive: his soldiers dragged him from the upside-down vehicle, and combat medics tried to stabilize his injuries; a flight crew working with the 8th Forward Surgical Team (FST) in Logar Province flew to the scene of the blast and ferried him away. Once Corcoran made it to the FST headquarters–a trauma center close to the battlefield–the doctors and nurses from the 8th FST labored for more than eight hours to stabilize his injuries. The blast broke Corcoran’s legs and pelvis; a piece of the roadway, under which the bomb had been buried, hit him just below his body armor vest; his spinal cord was also broken, and midway through that chaotic day, the medical team learned he would be paralyzed.

Corcoran might never have learned about those heroic efforts to save his life were it not for photographer Erin Trieb, who was embedded with the 8th FST. When the call came over the radio about casualties from an Improvised Explosive Device, Trieb grabbed her camera and hopped on the helicopter. While flight medics worked to keep Corcoran alive during the flight, she photographed their work in the cramped helicopter cabin, then kept shooting in the trauma center, marveling at how the medics, nurses and doctors had the drill down to an exact science. “It was like watching a symphony being conducted—they knew their jobs so well,” Trieb says.

As soon as Corcoran arrived, it was clear he was different from most of the patients they’d seen: young soldiers, most in their early 20s. Corcoran was one of very few sergeants major to be wounded during Trieb’s time with the FST, and he was one of the most severely wounded of all the casualties. They found out he had been set to retire in less than six months after 24 years of service, and that he had young children at home. “He was so close to dying several times, it was up and down emotions the entire day,” Trieb says. “It took a very long time to stabilize him. As soon as the doctors and nurses would stabilize him, something would happen.”

Once Corcoran was finally stable enough to be moved, the flight team took him to Bagram Airfield, then he was flown to Germany for more extensive surgeries. Trieb, meanwhile, set to the task of organizing the shots that emerged from the day’s chaos. “It’s a very strange process,” she says. “You’re looking at pictures of someone basically almost dying and you’re like, ‘Which one looks better?’ You’re trying to do your job and I don’t think any of that hits you until much after the fact.”

While Trieb finished her embed in Afghanistan, Corcoran began his long journey home. In Germany, he developed an ileus, a condition where his abdomen filled with fluid, and an infection raged through his body. Doctors wanted to fuse his broken spinal cord, but feared he would die during such an extended surgery. So they flew him to the U.S., where he spent six weeks in the intensive care unit at Walter Reed hospital before doctors were able to repair his spinal cord during several more surgeries.

About two months after Corcoran was wounded, Trieb sent him some of her photographs. Then in April this year, she traveled to Florida to meet Corcoran for the first time. After months of living in hospitals, Corcoran and his family moved into a house designed for wounded warriors. Trieb showed him the photographs from the day of his injury and filled him in on the frantic hours after the bomb blast. “I was absolutely amazed to see them,” Corcoran says. “All of these dark visions, those began to get filled in. There’s so much that I don’t know. Come to find out, she knew, and remarkably had photographs of it all. Most people would be disturbed by that. I was elated, to say the least.”

Trieb also photographed Corcoran’s physical therapy as he continued to work to gain strength and fully recover nearly two years after being wounded. “These injuries don’t just stop because the soldier is home,” Pat’s wife, Becky, says. “These are life-long injuries that will never go away.” Trieb’s photographs of Pat’s therapy will be added to a growing collection for The Homecoming Project, a non-profit organization Trieb started that uses visual storytelling to illuminate the ongoing issues of veterans from the past decades’ wars.

The Homecoming Project, which began when Trieb spent months with soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division after their return from Afghanistan, documents the struggles many troops face when they return home from combat. “Somehow, we’ve got to have a conversation about these two wars in a way that’s palpable for the public and in a way that they’re not burned out seeing or hearing it,” Trieb says. “It’s been too long and I feel like it doesn’t even faze them. It’s my job to be a journalist and report, but ultimately it’s my passion to reach the public in a really meaningful way.” It is a mission that Corcoran is proud to support with his own story. “I couldn’t be more proud of her and organizations like that,” Pat says. “I was tickled to death to be able to meet her and have some common understanding about this whole thing. She’ll go a long way with that work.”

Erin Trieb is an Austin-based photographer. See more of her work on her website and learn more about The Homecoming Project here.

Behind the Cover: How Guns Won

Guns dont actually kill people is sometimes a refrain from gun rights advocates when they run low on arguments in a policy discussion. On an incredibly basic level this is true. A gun itself is no more responsible for a death than a knife or an axe or any other instrument meant to harm and kill; the blame for a death falls on the person wielding them. But in the category of modern weaponsespecially gunsthe make, model and accessories matter a great deal.

When James Holmes allegedly stormed into a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. to maim and murder as many people as possible, he reportedly wielded an AR-15-type assault rifle. Holmes added an accessory: a 100-round drum that looks like two small film reels attached to the bottom of the weapon. This addition allowed him to fire round after round without reloading, which is what he allegedly did until the weapon jammed.

To produce this week’s cover, TIME commissioned Bartholomew Cooke, a talented young photographer who specializes in capturing the power of inanimate objects. seo marketing . When TIME asked Cooke to photograph the types of weaponsan assault rifle, two pistols and a shotgunthat were allegedly used in the massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., there were several difficult considerations. Cooke had photographed weapons before, but not in the connotation of a horrific tragedy. It was important that I didnt want to glamorize them, but I still did want to create a compelling graphic image, Cooke says. Figuring out how to photograph the gun was difficult. I certainly wouldn’t want images I create to cause anyone pain in any way.

Bartholomew Cooke is a photographer based in Los Angeles and a regular contributor to TIME. See more of his work here.

Iceland: Living with Volcanoes

Before the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, which grounded air traffic in Europe for weeks, few people were probably aware that Iceland averages an eruption once every four years. But while the spewing of hot lava is a frequent event, that doesn’t mean it’s a common one. “When we have eruptions, it’s all over the news,” photographer Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson tells TIME. “Most Icelanders try and go and see the eruptions. We are very excited about it.”

The cover of Magma: Icelandic Volcanoes (2012)
© Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson—Arctic Images

Sigurdsson has spent much of his career photographing Iceland’s volcanic eruptions. As he explained to TIME in 2011, within minutes of an eruption, he’s in a plane to photograph the event from above. “If there would be an eruption right now, I would immediately jump into an airplane to get pictures,” he says. “Then I would go take my trusted Jeep and drive up there with my tripod and stay there. I like much better taking pictures on the ground than in the air. They are more powerful and more exciting.”

After years of recording Iceland’s volcanoes up close, Sigurdsson undertook his latest project, to collect and preserve as many photographs of Icelandic volcanoes as he could find. Along with geophysicist Ari Trausti Gudmundsson, his friend for 25 years, Sigurdsson pored over archives, scanning and preserving hundreds of photos of eruptions on the small Nordic island. They are collected in the recently published book Magma: Icelandic Volcanoes.

Many of the photos in the collection are exactly what you think a volcano should look like: searing reds and oranges spewing from the ground; black soot careening into the sky. But the book also includes old black and white photos that are equally powerful, classic depictions of geologic explosions that can pack as much power as an atomic bomb. “I’m quite fond of black and white myself,” Sigurdsson says. “Black and white volcano pictures are, maybe not all the time as powerful as the orange ones. If you have a lot of orange and blue colors, it’s a great contrast, the scenes and strong colors.”

Now that he has preserved the history of Iceland’s volcanoes, Sigurdsson is readying for the next eruption. When photographing a volcano, “you have to make decisions on the fly when you have the scene in front of you,” he says. Do you need slow shutter speed, long exposures, or do you need to freeze the action or all of the above? “You have to try everything and use all your knowledge—the key to success is you’re never done,” he says. “I was done when all of my batteries were dead. And I can’t wait for the next eruption.” Given the frequency of the country’s volcanoes, he might not have to wait long to try it out.

Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson has worked as a photographer since age 16. His work is available through Arctic Images. MAGMA: Icelandic Volcanoes is available directly from the publisher.

Shane Lavalette: Musical Heritage in the New South

During his short but noteworthy career, Shane Lavalette has examined distinct regions of the world, illuminating their respective character without succumbing to powerful clichés. At the age of only 25, Lavalette has photographed the west coast of Ireland, a small town in northern India and his native New England. You won’t find any pubs, elephants or lush shots of fall foliage in these collections. Instead, Lavalette combines portraits of ordinary people with pointed images of each area’s commerce, culture and the immediate countryside to create a portrait of a place as it might be seen by a local, but through the eyes of a wandering explorer.

In 2010, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, which for decades has been the leading art museum in the South, commissioned Lavalette to produce a new collection of photographs for their Picturing the South series. “Having grown up in the Northeast, it was primarily through traditional music–old time Blues, gospel, etc.–that I formed a relationship with the South,” Lavalette says of his project. “The region’s rich musical history became the natural entry point for my work.”

As in his previous projects, Lavalette steered clear of standard images of the American South: willows and oak trees wilting in the humid heat; cotton fields and mountain trails. Nor was Lavalette interested in shooting a documentary about Southern music today. Instead he turned to “the relationship between traditional music and the contemporary landscape through a more poetic lens.”

There are scenes of nature, but not the sweeping landscapes often seen in the South. Lavalette shot ripples on a pond, where the towering pines are only visible in the reflection on the water. There’s the graffiti-strewn interior of an old café, with a poster so covered in marker scribbles that it’s nearly unrecognizable. Lavalette shows the collision of modern life and nature in the form of an empty parking lot beside the rusted wall of a warehouse, where kudzu has begun to encroach upon the asphalt.

Music has always permeated the consciousness of the South. The home of blues, gospel, bluegrass and countless combinations of those styles, the South is a region rich with musical heritage, a perfect gateway into understanding the region’s history and its culture today. “Moved by the themes and stories past down in songs,” Lavalette says, “I let the music itself carry the pictures.”

Shane Lavalette is a New-York-based photographer. More of his work can be seen here. The exhibition Picturing the South is on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta from June 9 through Sept. 2, 2012.

America’s Last Living POW: Christopher Morris Photographs a Family in Waiting

During the ten and a half years that Americans have been fighting in Afghanistan, as tens of thousands of troops have rotated in and out of the combat zone, only one soldier has ever been captured by the Taliban. His name is Bowe Bergdahl, and since June 30, 2009, he has been America’s last living Prisoner of War.

Bowe Bergdahl grew up on a dirt road that winds through a narrow river valley a few miles outside of town of Hailey, Idaho. The town of about 8,000 guards the highway to the ski resorts of Sun Valley where billionaires and movie stars spend their ski vacations. Bowe’s mother, Jani, home schooled him and his older sister, and Bowe spent years studying martial arts and fencing, becoming particularly accomplished at the epée. After a period of wandering, Bowe joined the Army at age 22, and soon after completing his training shipped out for Afghanistan. “He saw Afghanistan as a humanitarian mission,” Bowe’s father Bob says. “It was the highest ground for an American soldier.”

AP Photo/IntelCenter

This image provided by IntelCenter Wednesday Dec. 8, 2010 shows a
framegrab from a new video released by the Taliban containing footage of a
man believed to be Spc. Bowe Bergdahl, the only known American serviceman
being held in captivity in Afghanistan, a group that tracks militant
messages on the Internet said Wednesday.

After their son was captured, the Bergdahls kept their silence. Intensely private, devout Presbyterians, they chose to work behind the scenes to try and bring their son home. But a week ago, an interview Bob had given was published in a local newspaper. It said that he was frustrated with the government for not doing enough to bring Bowe home. Bob decided to break his silence. “We do not want the American people to think we are dissatisfied with the way our government has proceeded,” Bob says. “The problem is this is extremely complex. It involves several different parties—state actors and non-state actors. This is going to be difficult to reconcile, which is why we believe diplomacy for the hostages—and Bowe’s not the only one, there are other hostages—negotiations, diplomacy are the window of opportunity here.”

This week’s magazine includes a feature on the efforts to bring Bowe Bergdahl home, told from Hailey, Washington, and the rugged mountains of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Acclaimed photographer Christopher Morris, who has documented combat and statesmanship alike, traveled to Hailey to photograph Bob and Jani Bergdahl. “They seemed very strong. They seemed to have a lot of faith in their son,” Morris says. “Where he was raised, in a mountain culture, it would be something for him to relate with his captors.”

But raising awareness about their son’s imprisonment isn’t the only goal now that the Bergdahls have broken their silence. Bob Bergdahl wishes to create a “national awareness of the war in general–a national awareness of people, knowing that life and limb is suffering in Afghanistan,” he says. “This nation is at war and it doesn’t seem like people are paying attention. That’s just not acceptable.”

Read more: Bring Our Son Home