The Toll of War, Captured One Frame at a Time

By Tara MacIsaac for The Epoch Times

NEW YORK—“Billy Miller died because I wanted to go see a dead foreign fighter,” said war photographer Ashley Gilbertson. After a pregnant pause, he continued: “Everyone who goes off into conflict comes back with a sense of responsibility.”

Gilbertson shared a powerful and very personal account of his time documenting the Iraq war Monday night as part of the forum series “Ground View,” hosted by The Epoch Times in collaboration with NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and moderated by Getty staff photographer Chris Hondros. “Ground View” aims to bring a remarkable photojournalist to show and speak about his or her work every few months.

“This is who does our bidding,” said Gilbertson as he displayed the humanity and suffering of American soldiers. He strives to remind Americans that we are at war, to bring the reality of warfare to his fellow New Yorkers.

“I drink a latte and have an éclair for breakfast, and I can go through my entire day and not think about the fact that we’re at war right now,” mused Gilbertson.

This renowned photographer tells a tale of suffering—the horrid scenes experienced on the field, the guilt, and sense of responsibility after a term served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and the epidemic of PTSD plaguing this nation. Gilbertson does not, however, chronicle this woeful tale without hope that if Americans better understand all of these experiences, soldiers and war-torn families may heal quicker and suffer less loss.


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