Tuesday, November 10, 2009


At Ft. Thomas, KY Jordan Smith leaps into the arms of
his father Jerry, upon the latter's return from the Middle
East in 2003. Photograph by Melvin Grier

I served in the USAF from 1961-65. I guess that makes me a veteran. In no shape form or fashion would I compare my time in the military with that of the men and women who put themselves in harm's way for this country. My worst experiences were the racial intolerance and bigotry that was a part of daily life at a base where I served for awhile in Alabama.

It was my good fortune to spend two years at RAF Mildenhall in England. I was a Medic, and I worked in an obstetrical hospital assisting in births, and also caring for newborns in the nursery. In my off duty time I began a pursuit of photography. Thanks to a British gentleman named Victor Cresswell, who ran the photo hobby shop, I was able to begin a hobby that for me would become a career after I left the military.

I have had assignments where I have covered the deployment of our military people. I have also been on the scene when they have returned from various theaters of duty. The sadness of departure is replaced by the joy of homecoming. I could also take advantage of my access to thank the returnees for their service. Occasionally I had to photograph the solemn ceremonies accorded those who gave their lives.November 11 we honor those who served our country.

Thank you to all veterans.