Tag Archives: veteran

Stranger 74/100 – Tom

100 Strangers - TomStranger 74/100 – Tom

“Don’t make mistakes like I did…”

Meet Tom.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Don’t be so stupid.”

Would your younger self know what that meant? “No. {laughs}. Don’t make mistakes like I did… and I did.”

What’s your biggest challenge right now? “Right now? Survival.”

Are you homeless? “Yeah”

For how long? “Oh, I don’t know… a couple years.”

Are there misconceptions of the homeless? “They probably think they’re criminals. I don’t think so. People get into those circumstances like me, not by choice, but happenstance. It just happens. You make mistakes and you make bad choices, then you’re there.”

“My biggest problem is staying out of trouble. I mean people attacking. Oh, I’ve had it happen. I’ve done had my ass beat so bad that somebody called an ambulance for me. They did an MRI on my face, and I wasn’t doing anything. I don’t piss people off. I mean… why? I’m a good guy. I’m easy to get along with. I don’t mess with anybody, and he beat the living shit out of me, and I don’t know why. I still don’t know why. It bothers me. I have nightmares over it.”

Can you tell me about your time in the service? “I was an aviation supply mechanic. I found parts for aircraft… jets, helicopters. I joined in ’75 and I got out in ’81.”

So you missed Vietnam then… “Just… just missed it by nine days.”

What happened after you left the military? “Charlotte firefighter… 15 years. I always wanted to. I wanted to go be a firefighter in the Marines.”

Note: As a general rule, I haven’t approached homeless people for this project to avoid exploiting them in any way. In this case, Tom approached me to ask about my project.

Technical Notes: It was a sunny day, so we moved to a shadier area. I used a reflector to light up Tom’s face. I decided to convert to black & white to make the image more cohesive and to minimize the distracting colors of his hat.

Stranger 57/100 – Dennis

100 Strangers - DennisWhat advice would you give to your younger self? “To not get in the trouble I got into after I left the military.”

Meet Dennis.

Dennis is originally from Louisiana and graduated from high school at the age of 16. He later enlisted for Vietnam and served there from 1973 to 1975. He left Vietnam just months before the fall of Saigon. The pin on the front of his hat is a parachutist badge.

After getting out of the military, Dennis was convicted of assault and spent many years in prison.

Dennis now calls Las Vegas home. His first goal is to move into a bigger house. Then he plans to invest in some real estate to earn some rental income. He also has plans to buy houses to fix up and resell.

Technical Notes: The left side of Dennis’ face was lit from above by light reflecting off a nearby building. I used a reflector to bounce some light to the right side of his face.