Photography and photojournalism in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest

Veterans Day: The faces of those who served

Anyone that knows me is aware that I am not given to loud or colorful displays of nationalism. I prefer instead to lend a quiet salute to the veterans and current members of America’s armed services in a more dignified manner.

Fortunately, I was given the chance to do just that on the days before and after Veterans Day on Nov. 11. My work took me to a trio of retirement homes in Wilsonville during that time, where I interviewed and photographed veterans of World War Two. This included a memorable chat with U.S. Marine veteran Ken Jernstedt, who volunteered to fly and fight in China as part of the Flying Tigers prior to American entry into the  war against Japan. He is a former State Senator and Mayor of Hood River, where the airport bears his name.

Speaking with these men, it is clear they do not consider themselves heroes for having served. The universal response when asked how they felt about being pulled away from home and family and put in harm’s way is a variation of: “I was just doing my job. Everyone was.”

Shown above is U.S. Navy veteran Verne Reinmuth as he claps along to patriotic tunes on Veterans Day at Windfield Village retirement home in Wilsonville.

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