Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are just two kinds of wounds US military members frequently face, often having detrimental effects on suffering veterans. “Throughout 2010-2012 the US military lost more service members to suicide than it did to combat related deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. In 2012, the suicide rate among service members increased by 16% and is currently the highest it has ever been in recorded history. Currently, 22 US veterans commit suicide each day.”
The Homecoming Project (THCP) uses storytelling and visual arts to bring to light issues affecting military communities related to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This public service campaign strives to create a community of support and connect individuals seeking assistance with the resources they need. Through the use of visual journalism and media, THCP raises awareness of veteran issues to inspire action.
THCP has a collective exhibition of images from award-winning photojournalists, including Ashley Gilbertson, Andrew Hida, Ron Haviv, Ed Kashi (VII), among others, in combination with contributed work from military artists, photographers and writers. The project has received press from many publications including PDN’s Photo of the Day, The Columbia Journalism Review, and in the past, TIME, The New York Times, and more. Partnering with non-profit organizations, including Talking Eyes Media, the project’s fiscal sponsor, THCP is seeking to expand their reach. While continuing to host educational programs and foster community support, THCP will be building a traveling photo exhibition for outdoor display starting in 2014. The show will travel around cities in the US for display in public spaces. In the future, “[The Homecoming Project’s] goal is to also help bring issues like PTSD, TBI and military suicide to college campuses with large veteran student bodies, and to create campus forums where these topics can be addressed.”
Erin Trieb has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund these new territories to which the project will expand. You can learn more about the project and share your story on www.thehomecomingproject.org. Support The Homecoming Project to help make a difference in the lives of those who fight for our country. You can help by spreading the word and donating to the campaign.