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Look what 3 months in Afghanistan does to a soldier!

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posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 12:45 PM
They say a picture paints a thousand words. What do these tell you?—

In each case one photo was taken after they'd been in Afghanistan for 3 months, the first while they were still in training, and the the third when they were back home:

They were taken by photographer Lalage Snow who first met the soldiers from 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland during their training.

She says the time she spent with them helped win their trust and get them comfortable in front of the camera.

Three months later Lalage travelled to meet the group in Helmand province.

She said: "I was really shocked at how different they looked: Red-rimmed eyes, beards, really gaunt and thin, brown, and full of sand.

"It really shocked me," she admits.

The photographer says she realised there were lots of good images of soldiers in Afghanistan, but they didn't show how a person could change through combat.

"That's the external manifestation of the scars they bear - it's written in their faces," she says.

As well as the physical change, she also witnessed a shift in the personality of some of the soldiers, particularly the younger ones...

...The main aim of the photos is to shed extra light on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a subject that's been covered by Newsbeat.

None of those photographed is suffering from the condition. Lalage Snow says she wanted to highlight how PTSD can emerge years after combat.

It occurs when troops are exposed to the death of colleagues and other serious battlefield experiences. The mental health problems can have a dramatic effect on wives, children and other relatives...


Food for thought.

edit on 13/1/12 by pause4thought because: sequence explained

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 12:51 PM
Since the article does not state.

Are these photos in chronological order?

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 12:53 PM
The article does not state the order of the photos, but the first set...
looked like 3 different people to me. I sat there staring at the features (nose, eyes, lips, hair line, etc) and kept thinking: no way, different people!

Even everyday stress can drastically age people and change their looks......

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 12:53 PM
I'm as against the war as anyone, but this is not exactly a revelation.

Take people and put them anywhere for 3 months of tent living and you'll get the same result.

Wind, sun and heat can change a persons skin even over short exposures, especially if the person wasn't an outside person, no day spa's or loofa's in the field.

If you aren't used to the heat you lose weight pretty much right away, your apetite goes away.

As far as the actual photo's, they're squinting in the middle pictures, probably taken in bright sunny conditions, while the outside pics look to be taken inside.

Skin creams do this with before and after shots all the time, they just have them squint for the wrinkle shot.
edit on 13-1-2012 by AGWskeptic because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-1-2012 by AGWskeptic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 12:54 PM
reply to post by vogon42

The one in the middle is the one taken about twelve weeks later. (The third was taken after returning home.) How much would you have said they've aged if you hadn't been given the background info?

edit on 13/1/12 by pause4thought because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 12:58 PM
reply to post by pause4thought

what do you expect ? the before after training shots are ussually the most pronounced

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:02 PM
reply to post by ignorant_ape

The first was taken during training, not before. Sometime before they were sent to the field.

Obviously you would expect to see a difference. But it's the magnitude that is striking.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:03 PM
link thought was picture 1 in training, picture 2 in Afghan, & picture 3 was sometime after they had arrived back home. To me you can see the sadness in the eyes. Not defending some of the terrible crimes that may be committed by these soldiers but I don't think many realize what a lot of these 18 year old men & women go thru. I get mentally unstable from just looking at a picture or video of someone getting beaten and I don't even know them. Couldn't imagine if it was a good buddy that you had spent many days with.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:10 PM
reply to post by HawkeyeNation thought was picture 1 in training, picture 2 in Afghan, & picture 3 was sometime after they had arrived back home.

Exactly. (Added to the OP to clarify.)

I agree we don't reflect on what they've been through enough. I don't think the MS news often focusses on this. And I doubt many of them want to speak openly and widely about how they have been affected — which is why the pictures are so eloquent.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:19 PM
reply to post by pause4thought

I can tell you the personality is as different as the face. They come back changed forever:-(

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:22 PM
What jumps out at me is that middle photo -- in all four cases -- their eyes are narrowed. Long-yard stare?

The other thing is that the "after" photos, their skin is once again hydrated (or so it appears to me). That seems to be a natural occurance, which is why I often send.... moisturizer along with the other goodies on the list when I mail care packages.
edit on 13/1/12 by argentus because: bungled link

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:25 PM
reply to post by argentus

The eyes definitely have a lot to say.

As for the links you posted... the best response has got to be to do something that makes a difference.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:29 PM
reply to post by HawkeyeNation

My sentiments exactly. People need to look in their eyes. You can feel the hardship, the sadness. WWI and WWII were a necesity. But the wars we have today...they're senseless financial coups and resource grabs. I'm suprised the stress lines on their face didn't remain. I can't even imagine how it feels to be in that situation. And I don't want to find out.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:31 PM
OMG the military is NOT A SPA, you sign up, you know what you are getting into, stop trying to find sh**, these kids joined the military because they want to, no one forced them into it. What point was the purpose of this study, I hope they titled it "DUH!".
they look like this because training is hard, deployment is harder, thats the life you choose, God Bless these kids, they are in my eyes true heroes, stop looking for fault.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:36 PM
First row... Innocent, curious, enthusiastic...

Second row... Under tremendous stress, discomfort, fear...

Third row... Indifferent, apathetic, soulless...

I believe that your environment dictates who you are as a person. They look like they've been through hell and back and sadly hell's got a good grip on their psyche.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:37 PM
It's funny these pictures should come up now, only the other day I was discussing before & after photo's of my Dad taken as a Royal Marine WW2 the sparkle had gone from his eyes, you could see he must have seen some awful things. He never spoke about it.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:44 PM
reply to post by hapablab

I'm not sure why you want to be so combative (-pardon the pun). It's no secret that war zones affect people adversely; the challenge here is look at these faces and consider not the abstract concept, but the individual impact on the inner life of these men and women. Reflection more than point-scoring.

these kids joined the military because they want to

Have you considered how many feel they have little if any other option? For a whole host of reasons many young people feel trapped by circumstances. Wanting to move on in life — have a home, be able to support a family, etc., but without the advantages of a strong home background, education, etc., and growing up at a time when job security is scarce. Don't be hasty to condemn. Many of those who joined up will have seen their peers do the same and many are just unaware of how else they might get a start on the employment ladder. Not to mention those who join up with patriotic, altruistic motives. But how much do they really understand of what really awaits them? How many come back elated?

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:48 PM
I've seen pics like this before with Dutch Marines. Same idea exactly, to evoke your emotions into believing that "war is hard on a soldier." I'm sure it is, but these pics represent an agenda and have no real value in assessing how a person "changes." I don't know the circumstances of this shoot, but in the Dutch sequence she took the first pics in a comfy studio. She then visited the same guys on site right after they had come off a 12 hour patrol. They were tired, hungry, and rushed before the camera where the photographer had less than a minute apiece with them. Needless to say, the environment was completely different. It was also extremely hot outside.

That these people looked different under extremely different circumstances is not at all surprising. To juxtapose these pictures in this way is nothing more than propaganda. The photographer wants you to drink gthe Kool Aid here.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:53 PM
I can tell you my mom served in Iraq in 2009. She lost over 60 pounds.
When she returned home I was terrified. She was 49 at the time and she looked no younger than 60. She aged horribly and she looked as if she had not slept in week. It was very scary. It took a few months for her to look her old self again.

posted on Jan, 13 2012 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by schuyler

The photographer wants you to drink gthe Kool Aid here.

I can only disagree. War mongers have spent centuries, nay millennia wanting populations to overlook the ravages of war. The Kool Aid is distributed by the MSM, and their ringleaders.

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