Featured Image RYAN SPENCER REED | Afghanistan: Stands Alone.
by Dawn Garcia
I met Ryan Spencer Reed via Social Media. In a circle of truly magnificent photojournalists and documentary photographers and filmmakers, I continue to see work produced that is changing the face of journalism. It is honest, unbiased, real, full of words unspoken, and exposes the soul of humanity. Ryan’s work embodies precisely that. His heart is visible in every project whether he’s exploring the degradation of Detroit, the silent cries of war torn Sudan, or his recent journalism project exploring the modern day Band of Brothers in Afghanistan. You can feel the story in a single image. Somehow everything is transparent and in journalism, that is truly an extraordinary feat. The featured image is from a training operation held at Fort Polk, Louisiana that Ryan accompanied in January. Ryan’s current deployment is the first time and only time he has deployed to Afghanistan. The overall project, including still images and video, has the working title of, “Afghanistan: Stands Alone“. Thank you to his wife, Erica for sending these on his behalf and for keeping me up to date on his deployment … To every photojournalist around the world: You are the essential fiber to which every writer thrives to exist.
Ryan’s Project Afghanistan: Stands Alone is part of the Humanitarian Projects ATOD Magazine supports.
Sand and Sound
by Dawn Garcia
The world watches as the war is seemingly silent.
The bodies armored in gear now heavy with experience.
Faces that admit reflection.
Eyes that reveal a river flooding their minds with all they’ve seen.
Combat no longer an act but a truth.
A Brotherhood in arms.
A Brotherhood in death.
A Brotherhood in battle.
A Brotherhood of unity.
The Brotherhood – a government-made ensemble now outfitted forever.
United they stand. Together they hope –
The sounds pounding on the ground.
Coursing all around them.
Crashing within them.
The sand chases the shadows.
Beckons the unknown.
And so the world watches. Behind the mistaken screen –
Some return. Some remain.
Some have fallen. Some – some are never the same.
Their voices tell a story but only –
As the real war only just begins …
For more on photojournalists like Ryan who risk their lives to give you the truth without bias, visit Sebastian Junger’s Project: RISC. Created by journalists FOR journalists who go into battle with only the lens as their interpreter.