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One man’s urgent mission: Photographing World War II veterans before they’re gone

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Jeffrey Rease is running out of time. In 2019, he started a project that would take him and his Nikon D850 from Alabama to Utah, Oklahoma to North Carolina, Mississippi to Arizona. It would introduce him to some of the oldest, and in his opinion, most heroic people in the country. And it would give him a chance to preserve pieces of history that would soon be lost.

The idea: find the remaining American veterans of World War II. An estimated 325,000 of these nonagenarians and centenarians are still with us, with stories to tell. Rease, a graphic designer turned portrait photographer from Birmingham, Ala., wanted to hear them.

His uncle had been killed in World War II when his ship was sunk by a German torpedo. But Rease, 59, never learned much about him as a child. And Rease’s father had served as an Army paratrooper in the Korean War.

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Jeffrey Rease photographs World War II veteran Alvin Lopez, 99, who served as a Seaman 1st Class on the USS Portland. (Jeffrey Rease)

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/11/11/world-war-2-veterans-photographs/

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