In the aftermath of 9/11, I had the rare opportunity to observe the Naval Special Warfare community in action at a pivotal time in its history. I gained an unusually high level of access to the inner workings of the world of U.S Navy SEALs and earned the trust of the SEALs and their families to tell their stories. From 2002 to 2014,
a period of war and transition for the Special Warfare community, I was embedded in this elite private community usually cloaked in secrecy and silence. My collection of black and white photographs resulted in a published book‚ SEAL: the Unspoken Sacrifice.
The photographs I took over 12 years navigate the complex web of emotions that these men experience and the daily sacrifice they make during their enduring quest for honor, loyalty, and physical prowess. it also looks at the impact this quest has on their families.
U.S. Navy SEALs have a long history of answering a call to duty without hesitation, but the community forever changed with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. U.S. Navy SEALs and the people who love them, have paid a heavy price during the wars since 9/11—deployments have been extended and more frequent, and the missions more dangerous. A “typical” SEAL will be deployed 219 out of 365 days a year, leaving wives, children, parents, siblings behind to live in their absence. But, to the SEAL and his family, this sacrifice is part of answering the call.
The SEAL photos document the rites of passage that define this community: their rigorous and legendary BUD/s training and Hell Week, earning the Trident, deployments and homecomings, and the tragic celebrations of life and duty for fallen SEALs. Taken as a collection, they juxtapose the harsh realities of training and combat with the tenderness of family life.