Ostrolenk speaks to professional photographer Beau Simmons and Army Rangers Dan Blakeley and Tom Amenta about their new book “The Twenty-Year War: A Photo Journal Dedicated to Veterans of the Global War on Terror and Their Stories.”
In the book, American combat veterans open up about their military service, the hard realities of combat, their transitions post-military, and what it’s like to find purpose and create new lives.
In the interview they discuss what it was like to create the book which included visiting 42 states in 61 days, traveling 16,000 miles. The book includes 71 unique veteran voices. The conversation is wide ranging and includes Dan discussing three phases of leaving military service which include Phase one: Out of the Fight; Phase two: No Uniform, Now What?; and Phase three: Self-Reflection. He acknowledges, though, that this is not necessarily everyone’s path. Beau speaks of his learning to move beyond the self and serving something bigger than oneself as a result of the road trips to visit the 71 vets. Tom discusses his inner work to help heal from combat.
The interview also includes a discussion on taboo topics, the need for tribe, and invisible wounds. They also discuss specific interviews and what they meant to each of the three creators. They end the conversation with the lessons they want the listening audience and hopeful book buyers to take away from the book.
To purchase the book visit https://twentyyearwar.com/