I am beautiful because I am a warrior.

Evan, Age 21

I am beautiful because I represent those who cannot represent themselves.

Andrew, Age 25

I am beautiful because it took me many years to find out I was not as smart as I thought I was.  My time had a purpose and has been well served in two parts:

The first part was all for me.  The second part is for all of you to find and recognize who you are.  

Truth and honesty - each often evades. Life is a gift.  Use it well. 

Austin, Age 84

I am beautiful because I may be broken and tattered, but I am NOT defeated.

Greg, Age 29

I am beautiful because I am a Burn Survivor. Even though my outer appearance has changed, I am still the same loving and outgoing person I was before.

I forgave the individuals who caused the fire I was burned in immediately after. I will always put the well-being of friends and family before myself. 

I love life and will not let it slip away. Not many people get a second chance to live.

Manny, Age 36

You. Are. Beautiful. - A Tribute to Warriors, 2012-2013

These are select photographs from veterans I met with as part of my ongoing You. Are. Beautiful. series. 

As part of my broader work, I photographed five vets: three Marines and two soldiers. Evan, Andrew, Austin and Greg, are combat veterans (Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan). I found them through social media or referrals from friends. The last man in this set of images, Manny, was wounded in a combat training exercise, where he risked his own life to jump into a fire to save another Marine. Manny was my best friend in high school.

I shared the artwork in multiple exhibitions and events to support wounded vets.  We also raised funds to benefit Semper Fi Fund and America’s Fund. This is only one part of the “pay it forward” message of the project. Above all, I simply want to inspire people to pay a message of love and kindness forward.

If you appreciate this art, please CLICK HERE to make a donation.

You. Are. Beautiful. is made possible through the generosity of Wernau Asset Management.

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