Veteran serves fellow veterans through photography

Posted at 6:15 PM, May 27, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:19:53-04

It's been 10 years since the Battle of Baqubah in Iraq. 

About 300 of the soldiers who fought in it, have come together to remember and catch up this Memorial Day weekend in Killeen and one veteran in particular is helping make the anniversary just a little more special.

Stacy Pearsall was a combat photographer in the United States Air Force and now the founder of the Veterans Portrait Project.

Pearsall traveled all over the world photographing military operations.  But, during her what would be her last combat deployment in Iraq and the Battle for Baqubah...

"I was medically evacuated April 27th 2007," Pearsall said. 

Pearsall endured an 18-month recovery listening to doctors tell her all that she wouldn't be able to do. 

"It really took another veteran for me to realize that I still had a purpose, that I could still tell stories and take pictures of my fellow military personnel and veterans... and that's how the Veterans Portrait Project began," Pearsall added. 

Pearsall has traveled to 27 states with the Veterans Portrait Project so far.

"I've captured over 6,000 veterans from every generation, branch of service and the oldest was 101 and the youngest was 18," Pearsall said.

On Saturday she was in Killeen taking portraits of soldiers from all over the country who are gathering to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Battle of Baqubah. 

"It's really wonderful to be able to catch up with some of the guys in gals that I served alongside while in Diyala Province, but also to bring the Project here and update their picture because, lets face it, the last time I saw them it was 10 years ago!" Pearsall added. 

But, not all of the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Baqubah are able to have their portrait taken...

"Those who should be the most honored from our experience in the Battle of Baqubah cannot be here this weekend because they made the ultimate sacrifice," Pearsall said. 

A sacrifice she and other veterans will never forget. 

The Veterans Portrait Project is completely free for veterans.

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