Be sure to order this beautiful book, "Portraits of Service" by photographers Rob Miller and Andrew Wakeford. It contains a collection of stories told by the soldiers themselves, from the homeless veteran to the well-known, their faces and the common experience of service that connects them all. — Helen Patton
Robert H. Miller came to Portraits in Service after researching and writing Hidden Hell: The Story of My Father's POW Diary. A second edition of his book was published, in 2011, by Patton Publishing. Miller met Helen Patton on Utah Beach in June 2009 on the evening before the sixty-fifth commemoration of D-Day. In 2010 he became executive director of the Patton Foundation in America. The foundation focuses its efforts on putting into practice General George S. Patton's concerns for the welfare of American soldiers and their families.
For the last sixteen years Miller has traveled to Europe, China, India, and Brazil as a consultant in the field of advanced LED lighting and technology design for the global auto market. He has been a professional photographer for thirty-six years and is the recipient of several international awards. He and his wife, Colleen, live in Canton, Michigan, and have five children.
Andrew Wakeford was born in England, in 1949. He studied photography for two years at the Polytechnic of Central London. Wakeford then worked as an assistant for an advertising photographer, gaining valuable experience working for well-known companies such as De Beers Jewellery, Jaguar, and Watney's Brewery. He left England to widen his horizons, eventually ending up in Germany. He settled in Saarbrucken, in 1972, and married his German partner, Christa, in 1973.
In 1974, Wakeford became a freelance advertising photographer. He soon was taking assignments that sent him to Europe, the Bahamas, New York, and England. Wakeford specializes in photographing people.
In 2008, Wakeford met Helen Patton. At the time he was moving from assignment photography to personal projects, and Patton led him to contacts that helped him gain access to veterans and their stories. Wakeford is now managing director of the Patton Foundation in Europe.
The purpose of Portraits of Service is to focus public attention on living veterans of all wars and from many countries who have made personal sacrifices and, in many cases, undergone the horrors of combat. Upon returning home, many of these vets were met with indifference; worse, many did not receive continuing support or help from their communities. For nearly all it became a struggle to rebuild their lives and restore a sense of normalcy. Photographers Robert Miller and Andrew Wakeford approached this project with a desire to understand the obstacles each veteran has faced and to recognize their efforts by taking their photos and allowing them to tell their stories.
The range of veterans represented here is impressive. Some, like U.S. Congressman John Dingell, are famous. Some are homeless. Many women vets, including a Red Cross nurse from World War II, were interviewed. The result is a moving and powerful collection of photos and stories that reverberates with the universal truths of veterans' fears and emotions, their experiences and their lives.
Perhaps the key difference between veterans and everyone else is that many suffered and continue to suffer in silence after having made great sacrifices on behalf of the rest of us to ensure our continuing freedom.
PORTRAITS OF SERVICE
LOOKING INTO THE FACES OF VETERANS
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
ROBERT H. MILLER
PAGE COUNT: 344 pages
PRINT FORMATS: Hardbound