American Photographer Michael Stokes’ background is based in fitness photography and showcasing the masculine form. Last year he featured a chapter in his book Bare Strength of wounded and amputated Marines.
This year he wants to dedicate an entire book to the men who served in the Gulf and risked their lives in the US military.
While on tour in Afghanistan Alex’s right leg was blown off below the knee.
After the photos of Alex were well received, Michael decided to set up a Kickstarter to fund a coffee table book Always Loyal featuring around 14 former soldiers who had been injuring in the Gulf Wars.
It’s no surprise when looking at these pictures that Michael made his fundraising target in one hour and fifteen minutes.
“We think of them as veterans of war but really they’re guys in their 20s who are ready to start new lives and have a lot of energy and willpower to move forward. When they are in my studio I have to hold the energy back.” Michael toldi100.
“It’s the contrast that- I think moves people. You see all this perfect skin, you see that they are young and then all of a sudden you see their injury. That is emotionally provoking.”
Michael’s next aim is to head to the UK to photograph injured soldiers here.
The book will be available to buy on Amazon in mid November and you can see his Kickstarter campaign here, which also features a video for the campaign.
Images used with permission from: Michael Stokes – See more of Michael’s work here at michaelstokes.net
Words Rhys Mathews @rhysox