Craig F. Walker once had a dream that many journalist entering into the field of journalism all share at the beginning of their careers. Walker once dreamt of the day that he would be nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. This is no different than thousands of other journalist. The difference is now it is no longer a dream for Walker. Instead it’s reality that he shares with other Pulitzer Prize winners.
Walker went to school at Rhode Island School of Photography, which where is dream began to shape itself. Upon graduating from Rhode Island School of Photography Walker went to work for Marlborough Enterprise, but later moved onto work for the Denver Post. The Denver Post was the paper that brought attention to the Walker for his work.
The photojournalist has won two Pulitzer Prizes in the last three years. As reported by PetaPixel “Walker won his first Pulitzer Prize for the Ian Fischer: American Soldier story he covered in 2010.” Walker is well known for his work and photography of American Soldiers and in particularly his work with Afghanistan and Iraqi war soldiers.
The second Pulitzer Prize for Walker came from the Chronicle’s of Scott Ostrom. Ostram was a war veteran that has suffered with PTSD, but allowed Walker to chronicle his fight with PTSD. Ostram contributes his readjustment successes to date with the friendship he has built with Walker. Ostram has been able to tell his story, while accomplishing two other things through his story.
Ostram has been able to help other wartime veterans see that they are not alone in the fight that they go through every day with PTSD. This is a big deal to veterans that have been overseas in war areas such as Afghanistan and Iraq. The violence that a veteran unleashes on other for survival purposes in no laughing matter. This in fact has caused a lot of these veterans to slip into depression, and to have flashbacks of the war.
The military builds our men myself included into machines of destruction, but then acts as if all is well when they release them. All is not well for our men and women of the armed services upon being released from the military. I have been on the other end of this release process twice myself.
The first time I experienced what it is like for a service member to be released from the military was when I was a child. I went through this with my father when he was released from the United States Army. During his time in the Army my father was a disciplined person. The problems came about after his release from the military. He had served 27 and half years in the military. He had served in Vietnam on two different occasions during his service. Once he was released from the military though he became abusive towards us kids and our mother.
The second experience I had with the stress of adaption from the military into civilian life was when I discharged from the United States Navy. I remember getting into a lot of fights with other people. I had one guy actually put his hands on me here in Colorado Springs, Colo., and I fought back in self defense and was arrested for it. This was just one incident that I found myself in after my release from the Navy.
I went through a spell for almost a year where I was homeless as well, because of issues of readjusting back into the civilian world. I would hold a job for a while then I would lose it for what appeared to be no reason at all. I was having trouble holding down a job for much more than 6 months at first.
I was also a heavy drinker when I was in the military, and it continued for approximately one year after I got out of the military. I had been through so much mentally while I was in the Navy. My first major incident was when my grandmother died while I was stationed overseas. This had a huge impact on me, because of the type of relationship we had when I was growing up. Then my mother had an accident at work that put her into a coma.
I was told by Senior Chief Liggens of the United States Navy that he did not care that my mother was laying in a hospital bed in a coma. I showed this man the paperwork from the Red Cross and handed him my leave papers, and he ripped them up in my face. This had a huge impact on me as a person and even after I got out of the military I could not believe how I was treated by this man.
I thought that when service members were released from the service that they were put through classes and taught how to readjust to civilian life. This was not the case when I processing out though. I was given a packet of papers and told to go to different locations and have them signed. I was sent to medical and dental to get checked out one last time. I was also sent to the administration department and was told to have them sign my paperwork.
This is the type of things that our service member are told to do when they process out. This is the reason that Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Craig F. Walker was capable of being of instrumental help to Ostram who has since been able to pass his knowledge onto other veterans. The service men and women need more people that are instrumental to their lives like Walker was to Ostram’s life.
The military on the other hand needs to learn to adapt to the service members that are processing out of the military. From week three on in the Navy’s boot camp the transformation from civilian to machine of destruction starts to take place. The first two weeks is nothing but medical, dental, and paperwork signing. The third week is when the Recruit Drill Commanders are allowed to punish you. This is also the week that all the verbal assaults start to take place.
Every member of the military that makes it to the stage of verbal assaults should be put through an educational class on how to readjust. Every member who has ever done any time overseas needs to be put through psychological evaluations to see whether they are prepared to be released to civilian life, or if they need more counseling to have a successful transition.