Dear Cape Ann Community,
The "You. Are. Beautiful. – Tribute to Warriors" show is now up at LAT 43 in Gloucester! This special event to celebrate art and support our wounded vets is this Monday, July 8 from 6:30-9:30pm. Tickets are $20/person and 100% of the ticket price goes to benefit the Semper Fi Fund. You can buy tickets at the door or here: http://youarebeautiful.eventbrite.com/
Through this body of work, I am proud to share the voices and portraits of five veterans, four of whom are from Massachusetts. All five of the veterans I photographed will be at the event, including Corporal Evan Reichenthal, USMC.
Evan decided he wanted to become a Marine when he was in middle school. After graduating from high school in 2009, he enlisted and would see his dream of pursuing the ultimate profession to test one’s mind, body and spirit, come true.
In December 2010, Evan’s unit deployed to a small base in Marjah in southern Afghanistan. Evan was an infantryman and was on foot patrol on January 5, 2011 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The explosion severed his right leg, damaged his left calf, destroyed his right elbow and sent shrapnel throughout most of his body.
Evan underwent 26 surgeries following his injury. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his service. Evan applied the same calm determination he maintained in becoming a Marine to his recovery. His will to adapt and overcome continues to make him a warrior. As he says, “My body may break but my mind cannot.”
Evan would say he is not a hero because he was just doing his job. I think he’s a hero, and sometimes even heroes need help. This is why we are doing this event.
Evan is also on the cover of my book, "You. Are. Beautiful. Volume 01 – Portraits and Poems." I launched it in April, and it features 26 people I photographed for my project, veterans and beyond, across Boston and surrounding areas, Chicago and surrounding areas, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco.
100% of net proceeds from the book go to charities that empower wounded vets and at-risk youth. The book is available at Lula’s Pantry in Rockport, Willow Rest in Gloucester and online at: http://ThiLinh.pixpasites.com.
I hope you are inspired by this work, and I hope you will pay this message forward. You are beautiful.
Thi Linh Wernau, Rockport, MA
(All photos copyright Thi Linh Wernau and Thi Linh Photography)