Filmmaker Lalage Snow has released some shocking images of the faces of British soldiers before, during, and after the war in Afghanistan. The photos are part of the series entitled "We Are Not Dead" and shed light on the mental and physical effects that war has on young soldiers. The purpose of the project is to sensitize people to what these young servicemen are going through.
The project brings out the shocking truth about the way war affects our soldiers.
It's easy to read a newspaper story about military conflict or watch a movie based on true events, but it is quite another to see the physical change.
Some differences are subtle, yet some changes are quite heartbreaking and drastic.
The true words are spoken in the eyes of a soldier who has experienced events civilians would never even dream of in our scariest nightmares.
When a soldier comes home from deployment, it is important to keep everything out in open. Ask the soldier what he or she wants to do, what they want to talk about, and what they feel like sharing.
The most common conditions a soldier can have when coming home from deployment are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
According to the Deployment Health Clinical Center, servicemembers who have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq are 30% more likely to suffer a TBI while PTSD can affect around 30% of servicemembers as well.
Even the reintegration process can be difficult because soldiers go from being on their toes and running on all cylinders 24/7 to about 30 days of straight leave.
Fortunately, there are countless resources available for veterans returning home from the Veterans Affairs to many nonprofit organizations like Wounded Warriors, that have been started by veterans themselves.
It's important to know that reintegration can take time and patience, but the changes are very real and prove that war still continues even after treaties have been signed.