I am beautiful because life is too short to have any other perspective.
Brian, Age 32
I am beautiful because I don't let disabilities define who I am.
Kyle, Age 23
I am beautiful because I am me.
Alex, Age 25
I am beautiful because I continue the fight for those who are not with us today and for those who cannot compete in the sporting events that I compete in.
I shoot for those who can't. I cycle for those can't. I run for those who can't. I swim for those who can't. This is why I am beautiful.
Edgardo "Gabriel," Age 26
I am beautiful because I am unstoppable!
Savage, Age 27
I am beautiful because I am unique. I accept everyone who has a compass that steers true north and has the compassion to accept the different.
Juan, Age 29
I am beautiful because I love to better myself.
Chris, Age 23
I am beautiful because I have a family that loves and supports me through my recovery and through my journey of exploring new things and sports, despite how many times, or the many ways, I have hurt them.
I am beautiful because though I may not be able to do what I loved prior to my injuries and illnesses, I still find ways to love and care. I would do anything for my friends, family, and most of all, for those I don't even know. I am now able to put my demons and frustrations behind me in order to love, care and help those that are in more need than myself.
Lastly, I am beautiful because the Lord created me that way, and I am thankful for the air he allows me to breath everyday.
I am not just beautiful because of me, I am beautiful because of those around me and my brothers that hang around my shoulders and feel my heart everyday.
Ronnie, Age 36
Still In The Fight, 2014
In March 2014, I traveled to California to photograph injured Marine veterans as part of my ongoing You. Are. Beautiful. series. I honor wounded veterans because I believe they experience one of the ultimate tests of the human mind, body and soul.
I met men who are missing one, two and three limbs. Men and women who suffered, and continue to fight, from wounds so deep you could not see the bottom: post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, back injuries, paralysis, cancer and more. Five of the nine people were “grunts” or infantrymen. All nine served our country honorably domestically or while deployed, which included tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some of the Marines are part of the USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR) and were there to compete in the Marine Trials, a qualifier for the Warrior Games. I would like to thank the WWR and all the Marines who helped make this visit and art possible.
If you appreciate this art, please CLICK HERE to make a donation on behalf of the project.
You. Are. Beautiful. is made possible through the generosity of Wernau Asset Management.