Above are two black and white photographs of WWII veterans taken by photographer Walter Schuppe the first time he visited the Museum two years ago.
Faces of Freedom
By Janis Allen
Photographer Walter Schuppe and his wife Lori spent April 24 at the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas in Brevard with a demanding schedule of 16 appointments—a new veteran scheduled every 30 minutes—to learn about, honor and capture his or her image.
The Schuppes give framed photographs to the veterans they meet, and also displayed these photographs in the Schuppes’ hometown museum in Avon, Connecticut.
Above, Schuppe photographs David Grant, USAF, Vietnam.
The Faces of Freedom Project
Walter remembered, “When we started the project and interviewed the first veteran, we thought we’d just take a few photographs, ask a few questions, and be out the door in 20 minutes. It turned out that three and a half hours later, we left the veteran and his wife and realized that there was going to be a lot more to this project than we anticipated.”
At the end of an exciting day meeting 16 veterans, Walter Schuppe commented, “The most difficult thing we do is to limit our time with each veteran to just 30 minutes.” Lori Schuppe added, “We’re interested in the stories of their lives after they served as well as their military stories. They’re all fascinating to us.”
At 6:00 the next morning, the Schuppes set out driving to Caledonia, Mississippi to interview and photograph Mr. Bradford Freeman. Freeman is one of only two surviving members of the WWII D-Day 101st Airborne “Band of Brothers,” made famous by the book and TV series.
The Schuppes pay for all travel, photo developing, framing, and shipping of finished photos.
Walter Schuppe explained, “When I turned sixty, I realized I wanted to do something to make a lasting positive tribute. I didn’t serve in the military. I’ve had an easy life compared to people who served. I wanted to honor them.” If you are a veteran or know of a veteran who would like to participate in this project, please contact Walter Schuppe at 860-558-1072 or firstname.lastname@example.org