SCOTTSDALE, AZ, UNITED STATES
Story by Alun Thomas U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion - Phoenix
“One of the veterans is my nephew, who’d contemplated suicide. Before he sat down to work with me, five of his fellow Marines had previously committed suicide,” he said. “A year after I photographed him he came up to me and said ‘thank you.’ I asked him ‘for what’? He said if I hadn’t taken those photos of him he would not have gone out and gotten help.”SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – There’s a noticeable tremble in the voice of Christopher O’ Shana as he recounts his experiences dealing with veterans afflicted with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Christopher O’ Shana, waiver analyst, Phoenix Recruiting Battalion, talks about his photographic project ‘The Invisible Scar’ at a Community Action Committee meeting, April 12, Scottsdale Marriott Old Town, Scottsdale, Ariz. For the last three years O’ Shana has, has been documenting the struggles of veterans traumatized by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with a series of photos intended to bring awareness to those afflicted by PTSD. (Photo by Alun Thomas, USAREC Public Affairs)For the last three years O’ Shana, a waiver analyst for the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion, has been documenting the struggles of those traumatized by PTSD, in a photographic project titled ‘The Invisible Scar.’
He recounted the story behind his project at a Community Action Committee meeting, held by the Phoenix Rec. Bn., April 12, Scottsdale Marriott Old Town, Scottsdale, Ariz. O’ Shana said he developed a passion for photography upon leaving the Navy and pursued it through a variety of courses, leading to being awarded a grant and working space at a studio called The Monorchid in Phoenix.
“I was looking for something unique to use as a subject when a lightbulb went off in my head,” O’ Shana said. “What about PTSD?
Very few know what PTSD looks like. That’s when I developed the ‘Invisible Scar’ concept.” O’ Shana said he was overwhelmed initially, having to find veterans for his project and learning to how use a studio correctly, in order to enhance his photos for public release. “It was a daunting task. I was going to school and married with five kids,” O’ Shana continued. “But I began the project and its one that continues today.” read more here