Stacy L. Pearsall
Retire Army Master Sergeant Johancharles Van Boers served as a combat photographer from June 1983 to December 2009. Over the course of his career, he served in conflicts such as Desert Shield, Haiti, Southern Watch, Bosnia and Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
"Our job as combat cameramen is to tell the story as it unfolds in front of us, while still being a soldier at the same time," Van Boers explains to Defense.gov. "You have to know when to pick up the camera or that rifle, if you hesitate you could lose that perfect photo opportunity or you could cost someone their life. There really aren’t a lot of those moments, but when it happens you don’t have time to think, you just have to react and that is when all that training kicks in and your body just takes over and you just do it.”
Veterans Portrait Project
San Diego, California