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Research News

HSR&D Investigator Helps Veterans Tell their Stories

November 13, 2012

An article featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer highlights an HSR&D study conducted by Jennifer Gala True, Ph.D., an investigator with HSR&D's Center for Health Equity and Promotion, which has helped Veterans use photographs and words to share their experiences with VA healthcare providers. Through this study, 40 Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were given cameras and were asked to tell their stories of military service, deployment, and homecoming. "Photovoice" is an innovative research tool that empowers individuals to convey their experiences through visual images and first-person narratives. For example, one of the Veterans in this study submitted a photo of large hole in the ground – in Iraq, and wrote, "That was a bad day. There were U.S. Forces staying in a building, and a car bomb detonated out front. We were sent to dig through the mud to recover body parts to send home. I've got a lot of bad dreams from that day." Another Veteran submitted a photo of the sky and wrote, "Sometimes I take pictures of the clouds, thinking I might capture an image of Jesus. My faith has been tested, but it is still here."

PhotoVoice: From War to Home through the Veteran's Lens can be viewed at the Philadelphia VAMC Gallery from November 13 - December 14, 2012.

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