2010 Feature: American Soldier:|
Two days after enlisting in the US Army, 18-year-old Ian Fisher was having second thoughts. Fisher had signed up for combat after the 2007 troop surge in Iraq, and he had agreed to let Denver Post photographer Craig F Walker chronicle his journey from high school to deployment.
The teenager was waiting to talk to his commander at Fort Benning, GA, while cradling an injured elbow that he saw as a possible way out. Walker framed a shot that captured what the photographer called Fisher's "love-hate relationship with the Army." Minutes later, the recruit "had a real heart-to-heart with his commander" and decided to move on to basic training. "After every down that Ian has, he always comes back," Walker said.
Walker spent 27 months photographing Fisher as he matured from hard-partying teen to infantryman in Iraq, and overcame drug abuse, a demotion and a broken engagement. Through it all, Fisher never asked the photographer to put his camera down. Said Walker, "This story put a real human face on what's happened since 9/11."