June Issue: A Korean American Soldier’s Photo Essay of Iraq and Afghanistan
Through A Soldier’s Lens
A Korean American officer in the U.S. Army shares his wartime experiences, in words and images, from his deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
by ARIN YOON
photographs by JOHN PRINCIPE
I first came across Army Capt. John Principe’s Afghanistan and Iraq photographs on—where else? — Facebook. His photos and commentary on the pictures struck me as different from what I usually see depicted of the war in the media. His pictures were more raw, mundane and quietly poetic than the typical perfectly composed and lit images of war. Though Principe would face bullets, suicide bombers and the tragic loss of fellow soldiers during his deployments, he somehow managed to find other moments of humanity and even humor, and captured them with his shockproof and waterproof point-and-shoot, which he carried in his upper left shoulder pocket.
With the official end of the Iraq War and the supposedly imminent conclusion of the war in Afghanistan, it seemed apropos to share a Korean American soldier’s experience in war zones, as seen through his lens. (more…)