Les Carlyle – US Marine Corp – Survived Iwo Jima without a scratch
The world is moving at an unprecedented pace. Cultures, languages, stories, and eras are lost in the blink of an eye, leaving us to wonder what if we had taken a moment to pause and listen. Zach Coco, a southern California based photographer is an artist taking that time with his project “Pictures for Heroes.” A non profit-organization, Pictures for Heroes is dedicated to honoring Veterans by through interviews and photographs – an effort to ensure that their legacy and bravery is not forgotten.
Anthony Coco – US Navy – Served on USS Rushmore
The project began with Coco’s grandfather (pictured above), a WWII Navy veteran who served aboard the USS Rushmore LSD-14. The ship participated in four amphibious landings at the Battle of Leyte (October 1944), of Palawan (February 1945), of Mindanao (March 1945), and of Tarakan, Borneo (May 1945). During its final landing the ship was hit by a torpedo fired from the beach, but remained unharmed as it glanced off the hull. Had the torpedo made impact with the ship, Coco would be telling a different story – one with no ending. After numerous conversations with his grandfather he became inspired and motivated to meet, thank, and document each WWII veteran as a means to preserve their sacrifices and bravery.
Ray Chavez – US Navy – Oldest living Pearl Harbor Survivor
Since his initial conversation, Coco has interviewed and photographed over 40 veterans throughout the country, chronicling their experiences in the war while photographing them in their homes. The stories travel around the globe from Iwo Jima to Pearl Harbor and across the ocean to Germany and the Netherlands, culminating in a collection of stories that is preserved through both photography and text so that they can be remembered. To honor our veterans this memorial day, SVLA has partnered with Zach Coco to run his series.
Stuart Hedley – US Navy – Survived the attack aboard the USS West Virginia