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Paul Ficken

Paul W. Ficken spent three months at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, helping his stepson recover from leg injuries he suffered in Iraq when the Humvee in which he was traveling was struck by an improvised explosive device and gunfire. Nearly all the soldiers Ficken met at the medical center downplayed the significance of their injuries, saying they were just doing their jobs when something unexpected happened. “For some, it was going to be long journey home,” Ficken says. He couldn’t forget them when he returned home. “It seemed the rest of the country was just going about their lives as if nothing was happening. I would talk to my friends and neighbors about what I had seen at the hospital, but those conversations ended quickly. Not many people wanted to hear about it,” Ficken says. He decided to convey his feelings through photography. “I needed some way to show others what I had been exposed to,” Ficken says.

With Help

10.8 x 8.1 in.

Digital Photograph

This photo shows Ficken’s stepson learning to walk again, with the assistance of a physical therapist at Brooke Army Medical Center.