I am very tired of people "writing off" the wounds, deaths, grief, PTS, suicides, domestic violence, and more that is the result of sending our troops to war. These are written off in political debates by saying things like "well, we had to move forward" or "we can't just pull out [you pick the conflict]" or the president did his best "given the options available."
These are ways of "writing off" the serious human misery to Americans caused by such conflicts (I'm not even including Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, and many others). This seed is a way of bringing home a small part of that huge package of adverse consequences from our military aggression.
Alejandro Jauregui, 27, an Army staff sergeant who barely three weeks earlier had lost both legs to a makeshift bomb in Afghanistan.
Sergeant Jauregui, restless on the bed, was surrounded by his family: his wife, five months pregnant, sat in an armchair, while their two sons bounced around the room. Mr. Juhasz and Mr. Fisher quickly got to work — not just on making drawings, but on that all-important aspect of portraiture, putting the subject at ease. Mr. Juhasz peppered the staff sergeant with questions about his experiences in the hospital, and chatted about his own son, serving in the Marine Corps, while Mr. Fisher focused on the children.
Then Mr. Juhasz asked, “Do you remember how it happened?” and the mood changed.
“Yes, I remember exactly,” said Sergeant Jauregui. And he opened up, talking about the hours before the explosion, when he’d led the bomb squad to three other explosive devices, all defused; and the frantic moments afterward, when he’d begged his platoon sergeant to admit how many limbs he’d lost. (“It’s both legs, bud,” came the reluctant reply.) As he spoke, he struggled to sit taller, cradling what remained of his left leg in his arms — body language that Mr. Juhasz captured in a diptych-like drawing that shows the man on one side, looking intently at the viewer, and his sons on the other, separated by the bed railing and a jumble of medical equipment.
Please look at some of the art in the article. This is real. Not some soundbite. For the folks involved, this is the rest of their lives.