Welcome to Phase 2 of an important campaign to help bring awareness to PTSD. The rollout of this endeavor last year garnered donations of $1500, much of that from members of the Westchester High School graduating class of winter, 1963. My name is Jim Cornfield, and I was a part of that class, along with Ken Curry who is at the nucleus of the PTSD Campaign, 2017. I'm a Los Angeles resident, a US Air Force veteran and a commercial photographer, author and travel writer. My longtime high school friend and fellow vet Ken Curry, and I reunited last year at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. to produce an important photograph. It’s the portrait of Ken shown here, in a couple of versions. This picture will be showcased in my upcoming book, Environmental Portraiture, due for release in 2018 by the publishing firm of Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. The airplane in the background of this image is the actual B-52 Stratofortress Ken piloted to safety after it was struck by an enemy missile in April 1972. Ken was able to save the lives of his 5-man crew and also rescue the airplane for posterity. It’s now a permanent, well-patched-up exhibit at the Nat’l Museum of the US Air Force. Ken received the Distinguished Flying Cross for this mission. But he also returned from Southeast Asia bearing the emotional scars that often go with the trauma of near-death experience in combat. It afflicts countless veterans; you're no doubt familiar with PTSD. As Ken's friend and brother officer, I was proud when I heard about his mishap, and relieved that he was okay. But I only recently learned of the lingering PTSD that’s been afflicting my good friend since that distant morning in the skies above Vietnam.
I decided to do this portrait for inclusion in my book, in part to showcase the powerful ways that photography can draw attention to important and widespread issues like PTSD. It seemed appropriate that I could do some good for PTSD sufferers with exposure in the book, and in the very visible social media profile which books like always this receive after they’re published. We had very positive initial results with this endeavor, and we're now planning a large scale PR campaign around this chapter of the book, hoping to throw a spotlight on PTSD. In addition, with the aid of mental health professionals and some celebrated artists in my field, we are also planning a series of workshops designed to help military veterans use photography as a means of dealing with PTSD. This is a regimen of therapy that has already shown promise in workshops for civilian patients.
As to your involvement, there are some great rewards for you if you’d like to participate in this outreach by helping to defray the many costs involved, not just in our recent photo shoot, but in mounting a major PR campaign as well as planning the workshops. We'll be grateful to all who join in. Meanwhile...
Thanks in advance for your interest, and our very best wishes,
Jim Cornfield, Charlene Adair Middleton, and the staff of the Ken Curry PTSD Project
Post-traumatic stress disorder-- a brief profile
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event
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