Ann Curry's photographs reveal courage, grit of America's soldiers

Ann Curry

You can tell just by looking into their faces that they have confronted their fears of death, sometimes again and again. Something in their expressions reveals courage, focus, love of country and I think the greatness one hopes is possible in all of us.

Ann Curry


Since America's wars began in Afghanistan and Iraq, I have taken photographs of those who volunteered.  And whether it was in a forward operating base in Helmand Province days before an expected spring offensive over the mountains from Pakistan, or at one of Saddam's palaces in Baghdad, or in an Apache helicopter flying over Iraq, the same thing most deeply impresses: GRIT.  

Ann Curry

Ann Curry

Ann Curry

This is what made me press click on my camera. Isn't this the American grit we always hear about...the kind that links the Pilgrims to the Founding Fathers to soldiers throughout our history, including both Union and Confederate, and all the boys who dropped out of high school to fight on the beaches and in the sands and forests and jungles of World War II? 

Ann Curry

This grit is the stuff of America's past and its future. Today, as our nation nears the end of its rope, after bearing for too long the hard knocks of wars, fears of terrorism and a struggling economy, perhaps the grit learned on the battlefield, is exactly what we need now at home.

Ann Curry

Ann Curry

One million war veterans are expected to return home over the next five years, looking for jobs that could give them a chance to fuel our economy.  Among them are potential future leaders, CEOs and senators, perhaps even a president one day.

Ann Curry

The future story of American grit may now depend on just how purposefully our nation faces welcoming our warriors home, and by that I mean each one of us.  

For more on Hiring our Heroes, an initiative from NBC News and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that aims to get veterans back into the workforce, click here. Learn more about job fairs for veterans here

 

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