15 Faces #12 = Honoring a veteran.

15 Faces #12

On March 26th at 1:15p.m I could be found in the home of Tom Markos Jr. shooting the next installment of 15 Faces. Number Twelve to be exact!.  Tom is the grandfather of my good friend Matt Schnell (http://www.schnelldesigns.com/).  Mr. Markos has been weathered by the years and the battles fought in Europe during World War 2.  Tom was a bombardier in the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force, stationed in Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, England.
I asked a several questions of this quick witted man.  One such question was what moved him to serve in the Armed Forces.  He said, “It was your duty, it was expected as a part of a sense of patriotism.”  He added that patriotism was only a part of the reason. An equally important reason for serving was the people (specifically the children) that were regularly seen near the airbase. The people’s lives were impacted by Hitler and the German army, and that created in Tom enough reason to muster the courage to be up in a bomber.  Tom added that he and his crew eventually became the lead plane/bomber with all other planes following their lead.  This also meant that he could be the first to get shot.  As he spoke, I saw an occasional tear form.  When asked what the tear held, he said he is a relatively emotional guy.  I wondered if the tear held memories of fallen comrades, the weight of changing the tide in war, or maybe just too many emotions to even put into words. So many times, we condemn war, even the people who serve in it because it does not fit who “we” are or what we believe.  I want to ask each of us to just sit quietly in the presence of someone who served.  There is much to glean from their lives and the freedoms we have.  Their perspective is one refined by the trying times forged in tense times of war.

I want to thank Matt Schnell for assembling the photos into the great piece of art above. It brings great honor to a man who faithfully served our country.


Best wishes for your day!





About Shawn Nielsen

Commercial Photographer in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. My studio is a building that I built on my 7.5 acre hobby farm and is wonderfully surrounded by country that is full of crops, trees, goats, etc.

Posted on March 28, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thank you for your comments all. I am humbled to use my talents to tell a story with images and a few words. Then to combine with the talents of a fellow artist like Matt Schnell is even more humbling. I still feel like a little kid when I am blessed with the opportunity to capture the essence of someones life.

  2. Theresa Whiteford

    Thanks for sharing part of his story, many good reminders in his life for us all.

  3. Shawn, beautifully said, and beautifully captured in images (as always). My compliments to Matt as well – an amazing piece of collaborative art, to honor an amazing person. Well done.

  4. Dear Shawn,

    God never ceases to amaze me through your Gift.  This is absolutely wonderful. Marvin will be emotional as

    well when I show this to him. These guys don’t get to be honored as much as they deserve. Some were

    physically wounded and yet some still carry emotional wounds.

    Thank you.

    Grandma Janice

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