Copyright Suzanne Opton

Soldier: Birkholz

353 Days in Iraq

Days in Afghanistan


04/03/2012 03:38

remember that the soul we see in these soldiers' eyes exist in the eyes of the opponent just the same. In the end, we all our victims.


12/02/2011 11:44

You help the Peace in the World !


11/27/2011 19:56

AMERICA NEEDS to SEE into the souls of our Soldiers and embrace that WE have a responsibility to our Soldiers. I can't stop looking deep into their eyes and want to help!


07/19/2011 01:58

all this horror, young people, I wonder ....... why


03/30/2011 04:56

Craig Birkholz, who was pictured in one of these photos, was killed in the line of duty on March 20, 2011 while serving as a police officer in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Please keep Craig's family, friends, and the entire FDLPD in your thoughts and prayers.

Ann Fonfa

12/21/2010 14:32

So moving. I stand for PEACE every week on a corner in our town - Delray Beach, FL. It is my hope that these young people can be brought home ALIVE and WELL. So far we as a nation, are failing to protect them. WAR is wrong, no matter how brave any individual is. They are heroes, but why not be heroic in saving lives, not taking them?


12/04/2010 07:21

"Dave 03/30/2010 17:19
Someone explain the point behind the "gay" pose you have put these fine Americanas in?"

"Gay"? Either Dave must be experiencing an attraction to one or more of the male soldiers and so he's projecting this "gay" quality onto the image; or it's "gay" (as in "stupid") because the vulnerability in these photos remind him of his own vulnerability which he is uncomfortable with.

panayotis ioannidis

11/03/2010 21:59

haunting photographs on such a 'difficult' -in more than one ways- subject...


10/18/2010 14:54

Having been around a soldier with PTSD, I didn't see a dead pose here. This spoke to me of insomnia and the slightly haunted expression of PTSD sufferers. It's something many soldiers carry around in their heads and deal with every moment of the day, and I think it's good for civilians to get a sense of what that is like. Good work.


05/05/2010 18:05

I saw Claxton at Pentagon City a week ago, and Bruno just last night in Rosslyn. Both made me do a double take, and turn around to go stop and stare back at them for several minutes, in contemplation. This is magnificent provocative art. The Soldiers are to be commended (as well as the artist) for, in a sense, baring their souls to the world. I believe you should publish a Calendar featuring these images, with the proceeds to help those soldiers wounded or traumatized by war. It would be the highest and best use of your splendid photographic art. These faces beckon in their stillness, their piercing eyes asking transcendental questions about the enterprise of war, for which we have no adequate answers. Perhaps you could give us their voices as well, in some artistic compilation. It would be extremely touching to put voices and sentiments to each of these endearing faces.

Elohim Soldiers

04/25/2010 09:08

To practice physical fitness is good but to practice the physical fitness of the mind is better. Raël

Spiritual Soldiers


04/23/2010 15:54

I pass by Claxton\'s photo everyday in the metro. I can\'t help but look at it because it gives a strong message that these soldiers need our attention and respect for the services they are providing overseas. It\'s very \'in-your-face\' so you can\'t miss it and not think about the message behind the artwork. Great job!


04/14/2010 01:18

behind the uniform is the face of humanity and fragility.


04/04/2010 11:31

I think that yes honoring service members is a good thing. I want to share with the artists here a campaign that wants to honor and remember fallen service members from the beginning of our country. www.honorandremember.org Maybe they could paint a picture of this on a billboard across DC


03/31/2010 20:37

Dave, what about the pose is "gay" ? It's an unusual and thus provocative pose, but that's the whole point. I don't see anything gay about it.


03/31/2010 13:27

Beautiful work. I've seen it in the metro stations and was wondering what it was. I hope to see more faces.


03/30/2010 21:19

Someone explain the point behind the "gay" pose you have put these fine Americanas in? I know that EVERYTHING in the DC Metro area is about some political agenda being pushed. What is yours? Does this have something to do with "Don't ask, Don't tell"?


03/29/2010 03:36

I would love to see an addition of a female soldier to this collection.

Wonderful work


03/18/2010 12:54

The photo that was at Pentagon City is gone! I just saw it the other day. Last night when I went through the metro I noticed the empty frame where the photo had once been. The advertisements for Lockheed Martin and Goodrich were still there, though.


03/15/2010 19:52

Thank you for putting a face on the job of a soldier. I think the project is stunning and evocative.


03/14/2010 07:43

as a marine myself, i dislike this ad. we fight for what is right in our hearts regardless of public opinion. please rid the streets of these billboards


03/12/2010 18:33

As the mom of a young Marine, I feel the effort is a good one. Yes are men/women in the mlitary are strong, courageous and standing in the gap for us all...but, they are tired and sometimes broken too.
I think it is good that it makes people think about the people..not just a uniform.


03/12/2010 01:07

very controversial, great job. It makes us stop and think...which is what most of us do not do nearly enough. Pro soldiers, anti war.


03/11/2010 17:11

I live in Northern VA and was absolutely stunned and shaken when I saw one of the posters in the Rosslyn Metro station for the first time. I thought it was disturbing - he does look dead - and absolutely necessary (for this area) and I applaud what you're doing. We see our soldiers on the metro, on our streets, in the stores, all around us every day - and I watch to see how they are treated (obviously they're soldiers, THEY'RE WEARING CAMOFLAUGE!!!) I am saddened each day as I watch folks (especially the younger folks) push soldiers out of the way and don't thank them for what they do for use. I'm hoping your posters will wake some of these people up!!!


03/06/2010 00:46

It's funny how the poster that says nothing says so much to everyone. To me, the poster show the Soldier as a human. He doesn't look dead or vulnerable, he looks haunted and tired. This project makes people think, makes people aware. Perhaps it might make people ashamed that they act as though we have not been engaged in combat for nearly 10 years. Longer than VWWII and Korea combined.


03/02/2010 17:38

I don't like what you guys are doing, I know that this is art, and that is also open to interpretation. My interpretation of this is weakness, vulnerability, and seems to go against our nation’s pride.

Our soldiers are the ones who are strong and brave unlike the politicians who start and wage these wars based on their own personal opinions. When this nation was first formed, our leaders came from those battles, now the people who come from those battles are practically forgotten, what you are doing is good in a way, based on the fact that it gets our soldiers recognition, but there must be a better way to do it.

Chelsea S.

03/02/2010 17:25

I think it is amazing how you incorporated art with a current issue going on to create awareness in the community. Personally I love art and I think that it should be used to help the world. Maybe it would be cool if you could also make a billboard for the families of the soldiers. I'm not sure how you would do this but some how make people aware of how it affects the families also. Thank you for taking your time to do this.


03/02/2010 17:25

Making the billboards as you did with the implication that the soldier is dead was quite a controversial decision. But it really shows a different perspective on both soldiers and war. Usually images are of soldiers fighting or doing something heroic. But your decision to use the images as you did brings to light an entirely different perspective that is not usually found in the media.

To show the soldiers as if they were dead is a powerful message. It illustrates death or at least a solemn attitude and imposes it on the image of a soldier. Because of this it is difficult to see soldiers in the same way after being exposed in the vulnerable position of death.

To me it seems that it's saying that soldiers are just like normal people, they are vulnerable. And death is the most extreme illustration of that concept.


03/02/2010 17:22

I do not like the way that these billboards portray soldiers as vulnerable. I feel as if these images show weakness not only in the individual but to our country.

I also disagree with the sexist staement being made by not having made a billboard for women. Many women have dies as well and served for the freedom of our country. I do not like these billboards and think that there is better ways to send a message. Showing soldiers in a vulnerable position is NOT the way.


11/18/2009 04:07

I didn’t really have a chance to take it all in. I saw it over the weekend during daylight (didn’t notice it last night because of the traffic). It’s not in the best spot as there is a lot of merging around there. But when I saw it this weekend, I was struck by the hugeness of this person’s head, lying on a table maybe, just staring. Kinda creepy and sad and hollow feeling. At first I wondered what was being advertised, then I saw “the sanctuary” on the far right at the last minute as we zoomed past.


11/16/2009 20:19

Pretty amazing image! I just drove by after dark for the first time last night; it's eerie the way the face looms over the highway. Thanks for doing this to keep the soldiers in our consciousness... let's bring them home now!


11/10/2009 20:10

Check www.MediaSanctuary.org for details about The Sanctuary for Independent Media, the local partner for this billboard project in Albany NY.


09/15/2009 17:29

I think its so interesting that so many have negative comments, and more so that so many of them complain of seeing the soldiers in a "lifeless" way.
To me it appears the soldiers are "thinking."

PS- Mely & Thomas have a point though ;)


08/30/2009 16:52

Eyes open these soldiers look at the viewer to engage in a conversation about life. It is hard to look- it is hard to be captured emotionally by an image.


08/28/2009 15:48

But art offers many approaches and this is one route. While you are entitled to your opinion, I believe she is capturing the nobility of her subject, the soldier.


08/18/2009 03:06

its obvious you have never been there and have no idea what is going on and what you are doing. You told them how to pose because you had a preconceived notion of what they should do. I am an artist and a veteran and it sickens me to think of the little time you spent trying to understand or know the people you photographed (ref NPR interview). Youre peddling in cliches and the predictabiity of the work is truley sad. Stick to things you know

Heidi Miller

07/22/2009 16:44

I am touched by this concept. I will pass this site on to frineds who will also cherish it. I have no words, this is beautiful!


04/27/2009 22:43

Thanks for the moving photos and tribute to our men and women who serve

Al Fadhil

04/12/2009 10:14

well, very well. I hope that we will be able to cooperate in future.
al fadhil


03/01/2009 21:42

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant concept and execution..

Cheers to you!

Glenn Ruga

03/01/2009 18:40

Congrats on a great project. They are very sensitive and beautiful portraits of young men and women who deserve to live in dignity and not die in a misguided battle. I can appreciate the one comment about at first glance, looks like a gay porn site, because these men are all so beautiful up close. Well...they are. And I guess that is the point. What a homophobic society we live in.

fellow artiste

02/26/2009 19:36

I am not altogether sure about these billboards? They are very ambiguous, and do not lead you to realize you are viewing 'art'...they come over as a gay porn site at first, although I do appreciate where they are coming from. Well done for getting the 'art' seen, and having this form a conversation.

Mely & Thomas

02/09/2009 19:43

Great picture's BUT where are the women?

Pat Justis

02/08/2009 03:11

The range of different emotions in the writers' responses prove the work is potent. I agree that the soldiers' eyes tell us what these men have witnessed. I do not see weakness or death, but humanity.The ability to show vulnerability takes great courage.


02/07/2009 16:58

I met and photographed just a few women soldiers and would like to photograph more. Please contact me if you are interested. Also- we have allowed for more space on this blog.


01/31/2009 03:16

your limited amount of comment space leaves little to express the magnitude of the situation that you intent in your displays, please consider revising


01/27/2009 11:07

The Love of my life served in Iraq while I was pregnant, I had complicaions with my pregnancy.He was away for a little over a year, he came back with anger issues and so different.I miss the man I fell in Love with.Iraq has changed him,he is on his way to recovery and now they are sending him back again.I hope each and every American can appreciate our soldiers for serving our countries freedom.


01/18/2009 04:19

Wonder why you don't feature any women who have returned from combat? Many of us have died. It upsets me that we wear a uniform too and still get treated as second class by our leadership. It's already bad enough that our contribution is rarely if ever acknowledged by the media as it should be. Not that you should be able to reverse these inequities with your work, but damn.


01/09/2009 11:56

Very powerful and thought provoking. Thank you.


01/03/2009 20:16

I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States in close combat. My name is SOLDIER and thats all you need to know

SoulRocka Nasty Nene

12/23/2008 00:17

Awesome powerful photos. The font makes the image very intense and some what eerie. Props and respect.

Helena Rogers

12/21/2008 22:02



12/19/2008 01:41

yo en rialidad aprecio lo que ustedes hacen espero Dios los guarde por que gracias austedes ya no hay tantos atentados eso me asusta por que tengo 6 hijos pero uno de ellos le encata Air Force y el quiere uno de ustedes y yo respeto su desicion les deseo todo lo mejor y sobre todo Q. Dios L. Bendiga y feliz navidad.

Gebriel Alvarez

12/19/2008 01:31

my name is gebriel I want to be a black hauk piolet so good luck to all the solders out there. I am 15 year old


12/19/2008 01:23

good job keep going you will last i now it hard just keep going


12/13/2008 04:16

These images are incredibly haunting. I drove by one of the Columbus billboards day after day, until finally I couldn't stand it anymore, and had to find this website. I just don't have the words to describe what these pictures provoke in me. Very powerful.


12/07/2008 05:57

You are brilliant. Thank you so much for catching the attention of so many.....my best wishes go out to all the men who are enduring these horrible circumstances. We love you. We really do.


12/07/2008 05:18

My love is a Marine, who will almost certainly be deployed at least once. There is truth, humanity and challenge to this project - it forces the viewer to acknowledge our soldiers as human beings - taking enormous risks so that the rest of us can live without having to do the same.


12/04/2008 06:48



12/04/2008 06:47



11/29/2008 18:06

The billboard in downtown Columbus was finally taken down! THANK GOD!


11/29/2008 10:19

Very moving, very thought provoking. You've created discussion and ideas. I've read the pros and cons of comments and it's great how it has stirred emotion. Keep up the great work.


11/27/2008 14:21

Mes felicitations pour faire apparaitre au grand jour des visages aussi poignant face a la cruaute des guerres et nous rappeller que l'humanite est en train de nous amener a notre propre apocalypse.


11/26/2008 04:51

What about women who serve in the Sandbox?


11/24/2008 23:25

Haha, "art". Columbus has another "Brushstrokes In Flight" on its hands here. The painfully forced concept, silly poses, and generally poor photography come together to form a heapin' helpin' of crap.

Chris Jones

11/24/2008 06:14

Curious images. I like that it brings a senstiivity to subjects often presented as heroic, but feel uneasy about the billboard context, which has them up for sale like aftershave. I guess this raises the issue of soldiers as commodities, but it can I think soften a message - the personal life of a soldier - that\'s far from easy. That is, what dignity in a billboard? Thanks.


11/20/2008 20:28

I find it amazing that the people who are "offended" by these images don't understand that the statement being made is to bring up emotions in the viewer. That emotion might be offence, so be it. These images are a sensitive portrayal of young men who have been to hell and back, to fight for our freedoms, one of which is the freedom of speach which Suzanne is exercising. Way to go Suzanne!!


11/19/2008 18:24

hot soldier is HOT


11/18/2008 14:46

The billboards are simply ugly.


11/18/2008 06:14

I feel that our soldiers are too quickly sent into harm's way.
The best way to respect them and their wilingness to sacrifice? Portray them as people.
I simply do not understand how so many commenters think that this portrayal is disprectful or insulting.
It is uncomfortable, perhaps, but shouldn't it be uncomfortable to ask so much from these heroes?


11/17/2008 01:39

I do not find these billboards moving or anything to that nature. It makes me sick. I have many good friends who are in the service and I stand behind them 100% but I do not like to see them displayed like this. My ex who Im still amazingly close to left for Afghanistan on Tuesday and the first time I saw this was the day before he left and I was stuck in traffic. I had a MENTAL BREAKDOWN.


11/15/2008 13:58

I think that we are inundated with strong, combatant images of soldiers but I find this one shows the vulnerability and introspective human side. It is painful for people, but it's reality. We have to realize soldiers are our children, mothers, fathers, family, coworkers. Thank you.

heather ENG

11/13/2008 16:48

it makes me want to cry when i see these pictures, cause it makes me think about my mom being killed over in iraq, and it brakes my heart seeing these pictures or dead soldiers. If i seen my mom on one of these billboards i would literally cry. we all have our opinions on these billboards but i think there a bad idea.


11/13/2008 03:46

Being the father of a Soldier who has spent a tour in Iraq. I think the billboards put a face to the young men fighting for Freedom. They remind people everyday our Men and Women are out there sacrificing for Us, while we go on business as usual and care free.


11/13/2008 01:23

Our soldiers have given up their freedom to bring freedom to millions they will never meet Portraying them as lifeless, or dead, does not honor their sacrifices, living or having paid the ultimate sacrifice. I find it interesting many appreciate the artistic nature & read a different meaning into the art. I find it dishonorable to the soldier. I‘ll also say I appreciate a good marketing campaign.


11/12/2008 13:58

Arthur, you have missed the point....the simple fact that you visited the website and posted a comment has made the artists point.....it moved you to react that way....to voice an opinion...... to have a reaction is what the artist wanted......these images are amazing!!! The cold and sometimes lifeless faces are very stunning and hold the viewer in a trance like state....bravo!!


11/11/2008 22:32

I'm sorry but i 100% disagree with these billboards, they are putting a bad picture about our soldiers. Don't get me wrong i love the troops to death but you shouldn't have a billboard where they look like they are dead out for the public to see. It would be a lot better if they were taking down.


11/11/2008 20:07

I saw a billboard today and was moved. I am even more interested to learn how a simple image can strike so many nerves.

Many posters have insulted our returning veterans by accusing them of volunteering for exploitation when they posed for these pictures. What do these people think about the younger and less experienced men and women who are volunteering for the service in the first place?

Erica Mathieu

11/10/2008 18:12

Civilian or solider, physically or emotionally war is exhausting. Fighting is a whole body experience. Soldiers in the photos look to be lying down, unable to move or think: Exhausted. Putting an image so fundamental to many of the civilians' & soldiers' feeling about war, in such a public place allows war & its costs to be real & part of our physical humanity.


11/10/2008 12:13

One of the most compelling examples of photography I have ever seen! Just the word 'SOLDIER' and the solitary image says it all. THANK YOU for putting a face on the bravest and most couragous species known...the American 'SOLDIER'. THANK YOU to the men and women who allow me to remain FREE in America!!


11/07/2008 18:28

Thank you for putting a real human face to the extraordinary sacrifices that our brave soldiers make every day. These are neutral, human images...viewers place their OWN meaning on them. Neither the artist nor subjects can MAKE anyone think or feel a certain way. To some of the negative responses out there - learn to OWN your OWN reactions and stop blaming others.

Allan Johnston Photography

11/07/2008 04:34

You have used your voice well. Maybe time the USA had a Bush fire!


11/07/2008 01:02

Wonderful. Any of them could be a spouse, a lover, a friend sharing a secret. Some look so haunted, most look so young under the pain and exhaustion.

Such tender portraits of our servicemen...

I'm a disabled veteran too. I think we MUST see the still human side of this war, while we still can!


11/07/2008 00:37

I think these are excellent photographs. Our soldiers are not only risking their lives abroad, but their minds as well. I think it's important that people know how much our soldiers are really sacrificing for this country.

The images are uncomfortable, yes, but that doesn't make the message any less true.


11/07/2008 00:10

These are so beautiful. So human, so moving. Thank you.


11/06/2008 22:16

A question for all of the fine people abusing the photographer and calling this disrespectful: did you ask the soldiers who participated in this project? Or are you just projecting your own insecurities and feelings onto them?

My guess is the latter. If you're offended, you're the one being unreasonable. I would suggest some quality time with a therapist, or priest, or rabbi, or whatever.


11/05/2008 07:02

did you know that iraq isnt even the cause of all of the deaths of deployed soldiers... no... 15% of all military deaths are suicides... because those of us with the balls to actually get off our asses and defend something that many of us come home to never respect or care much for again, have to deal with ignorance from people like you.


11/03/2008 21:55

I do not display my purple heart or bronze star because it strikes painful conversations that are no ones business.

I do not like the billboards. I am insulted by them. If they were pictures of dead heroes I would begin ripping them down myself - your freedom be damned. My blood only paid for so much people. Lets try to be reasonable.


11/03/2008 21:03

Citizen Soldiers, many teenage soldiers. I fought along side soldiers like these in \\\"my war\\\". I think everyday about our soldiers and wish them safety and protection from the threats they face each day and from the images they will carry with them for the rest of their lives... Their eyes tell me everything.


11/03/2008 20:53

Bush is bullshit!

Bring ours boys back!


11/03/2008 19:38

É incrível como imagens tão simples e tão limpas podem ser tão fortes. Quantos corpos de jovens soldados americanos não puderam ser devolvidos às suas famílias. Já passou da hora de tirá-los de lá.


11/02/2008 18:13

Thanks for posting these. I don't ever want people to be able to look away from the fact that there are real people fighting this war- not just faceless beings whose names appear on a list somewhere.


11/02/2008 17:18

Shame on you! They are fighting so you and others can have the freedom to disrespect them. Think about that, treuly selfless. You make me ashamed to be an american, if this is how americans act.


11/02/2008 04:14

Come visit Iraq Suzanne... why not take a picture of a real dead person. There are lots here that came to defend you. If it comes out of a camera, it MUST be art, for profit no doubt. So Suzanne, where are the proceeds from this "project" going? I'm guessing your pocket. Exploitation at it's finest.


11/02/2008 03:47

As a Marine, I find these really disturbing. If you want to support me... send a letter, send a care package, send a book... for God\'s sake... My wife told me to look at this website, and I am honestly horrified. Is this the representation that Americans have of the troops defending them?? Cold dead heads?

Heather Estes-Boggs

11/01/2008 17:25

As the wife of a Marine, this billboard is completely offensive. If we want to educate those who have the desire to learn more about the lives of the brave men and women in the military then the state of Ohio should have a more productive and less offensive way to show what is actually happening in Iraq and Afganistan.


10/31/2008 17:49

I think these photos encourage us to think about what these men have seen in their time overseas.

I find it strange that, were these men actually dead, we'd look at their photos in the newspaper and think, "What a tragedy," but when we see them photographed returning home, and volunteering for this project, we cry exploitation. Maybe there is a tragedy here, too, in their haunted eyes.


10/31/2008 02:52

I too, am a spouse of a soldier; I understand the intent behind these, but showing them on the ground, to me, is too much for public viewing. I would prefer to view these at an art museum so that we may have the choice to show our children these depictions.
Had these pictures been vertical, showing them against a wall, I think it would have been more compelling and less of a negative message.


10/31/2008 02:36

These photos are a little too much. I like too remember our soldiers in a more positive way than seeing them in a picture lifeless.


10/31/2008 02:30

Suzanne, I was watching the news, saw your billboard, and immediately came to your site. I couldn\'t take my eyes off the image. Your work makes a powerful statement. It\'s real, it\'s art, and it\'s beautiful. Your work should be a reminder that it\'s time to bring our troops home.


10/31/2008 02:20

As the fiancee of someone in our military, I am rather ashamed that these picture were taken and classified as art.Not only are the pictures depicting lives of soldiers, but they are meant to see lifeless and powerless. I am very proud of every single member in our military and am appalled at the fact these photos were approved.


10/31/2008 01:57

Personally as a spouse of someone serving in the military I would rather not see people who represent my husband and every soldier in such a negative way. Maybe you should show the good their doing. I understand the point of showing them as individuals but there are other ways to do that instead of showing them lifeless and seemingly dead. Try showing what they do besides the military


10/31/2008 01:06

You are a dispicable human being


10/30/2008 20:47

These images are disturbing and should not be posted around cities. If your attempt was to "humanize"my fellow brothers in arms, perhaps you could've photoed them in a more lifelike pose. At worst, they look DEAD, at best, they look like they're in some stupid Calvin Klein ad. I'm not sure what your intent was here, but you're failing miserably.

Stan Gasiewski

10/30/2008 18:49

Your work is absolutely beautiful. I saw the piece on Fox news today and went immediately to your website. Your photography compells a viewer to feel whatever thet need to regarding the individual soldiers. Awesome work!


10/30/2008 10:27

Saw this on Fox, looked it up, read comments, looked at all the billboards & I see it now. I don't need to understand the principal to see the result. I know the look of fear mixed with numbness & power & confusion that our servicemen return with. I think the point was achieved. Curiosity brings you to the website & the website stirs you. I support your series & bringing our troops home! Thanks!


10/30/2008 06:35

Whatever your original intentions, it has been accomplished and a lot more. Being the daughter of a soldier who was a POW in the Vietnam war, I don\'t really appreciate your attempt at art. As an artist I do appreciate what you were attempting. Thank You!

Eric Ryan

10/30/2008 06:26

Wendy get a clue! She is not exploiting these heroes she is highlighting them and giving us an upclose emotional look into them! Can you not see into their eyes the emotions , good and bad they are expressing!


10/30/2008 05:28

I am the mother of a UNITED STATES ARMY SOLDIER and very proud of it! I feel that this is a "wake up" call for people to support our troops just like we did at the start of the war. Most people aren't as concerned about our soldiers anymore unless you have in the military yourself.


10/30/2008 05:24

Shows that soldiers are still human. Beautiful people. I will not forget any sacrifice these men have given our country. I only hope that I can live a life worthy of the life they have protected for me.


10/30/2008 05:16

The photos are very simple and impressive. Very effective yet not very original once you get past the first couple of images. I am very supportive of our troops both domestic and abroad. I feel that the images portray our soldiers as tired and in need of some support in the form of morale boost.


10/30/2008 05:15

I think this is art, it such a ashame that people cant tell the difference anymore. But other than that i love it.


10/30/2008 05:13

I served during the first Gulf War and these photos tell the reality of what war is. We americans forget so easily every minute of every day a soldier/Marine/airman etc is walking post and serving his country for your freedom. Please support our troops and dont forget why they are there.


10/30/2008 03:31

How Dare you! What the hell are you thinking. I am in the military myself and am sick at what your doing. I have lost friends no no my fellow soldiers are family I have lost family and you are putting this up for what? what are you showing but your ignorance you want to support the soldiers send care packages help families of soldiers that have fallen not this bullshit


10/30/2008 02:46

so what is the idea of these photos anyway? is this suppose to be for some cause?

Greg in Montebello

10/30/2008 02:39

So simple yet so effective at reminding us that there are faces behind the numbers, lives that have and will be changed forever and the thanks we all owe to those who have sacrificed for us.

Wendy Ralston

10/30/2008 01:45

HOW DARE YOU!! I am the mother of a soldier that was stationed at Ft. Drumm. He and several of his brothers in arms were killed in an ambush on Mother's Day weekend 2007. Nothing gives you the right to exploit these soldiers, and their sacrifice, or to exploit our suffering as families.

Michael Cabrera

10/30/2008 01:35

The images on your billboards seem to be doing an excellent job of getting people to participate in that all to lost art of thinking. Now maybe some people will attempt to consider whether their thinking is actually patriotic or nationalistic.

Heidi in Ohio

10/30/2008 00:04

I love the way these men are portrayed and anyone with sense can see that these men are clearly alive and breathing. I think they are amazing photographs! Portraying them in this manner shows a side of them These men are sacrificing a lot to be there.

Just Me

10/29/2008 22:22

I came across this on CBS news about your billboard. Many people think it looks like a dead soldier. So which is it? I wouldn\'t call it art in any case. But some idiot in Buckhead pays top dollar for your art I\'d bet.


10/29/2008 22:07

Wow,as a newly enlisted service member, this art is seriously inspiring to me.These faces reflect the raw, un-hyped,true reality many soldiers are facing. To me these faces reflect a weary, numb, weathered sense of being from the lifestyle they live in the center of our nations conflicts.Somebody has to do it.

Former Marine David

10/29/2008 19:57

I served in the first gulf war and I think this is a very sick way to show your dislike for what is going on in the world, but if you ask our men and women in the service right now, they feel their being in that situation is needed so the fighting does not end up on our shores. I would say yes this is freedom of speech except it does harm others.


10/29/2008 19:11

i think this is amazing show of Art, If you take it offensively open your minds please

Jeffery LumberCrack

10/29/2008 19:06

well army mom you can support the troops but not the reality that they are dieing over there for nothing, the war is driving our country into the grounds and 4000 soldiers didn't have to die just to see the progress going nowhere

Army Mom

10/29/2008 19:01

To Amy in Columbus. I also live close to Columbus. My son is in Iraq now. In the past week he has lost two in his unit. Yeah, that's right, there are still soldiers losing their lives over there. It's way too close to home for me. The billboard looks like a dead soldier. Ask my son if he likes his fellow service men portrayed in this way. Yes, it's attention getting in very sick way.


10/29/2008 18:36

I love the pictures. Attention givers. They make you stop and remember that our young men are out their fighting for our freedom, while we go about our business. We need these reminders!


10/29/2008 17:45

I think you are twisted to think this is any way artistic. You are using our brave young men to try to support an agenda (most likely political). I hope you burn in hell.


10/29/2008 16:40

Thank you for showing the person behind the uniform. Great work. As a veteran and an artist these images are inspiring.


10/29/2008 15:48

I am very thankful for what the troops are doing, but honestly these pictures are a little wierd. Why not have them upright posing? Maybe I don't get them because I'm not "artistic".

Christine Thomas

10/29/2008 15:46

I'm not sure what message you are trying to get across, if any. But, as a military wife, I somehow feel offended.


10/29/2008 15:03

I think they are Beautiful Pictures very artistic. It is reality and the world needs to stop fogetting who has made them free.
I love them and God bless our Soldiers and I thank them with all I am


10/29/2008 13:24

Maybe instead of wasting money to put up these billboards you could of donated it all to a charity to help the troops.


10/29/2008 12:41

You should be so thankfull that people have given there lives so you can have the right to do something so stupid.To bad this wont make the comment board.


10/29/2008 12:41

WOW!!! what more can you say, if this does not move you, then you are empty inside. RAW.. yes, emotional, YES!! but an awesome visual of the reality. I served as a Marine, I have many stories to tell and sometimes ramble, the photos say so much more without words. :-) thanks so much!!! Jim


10/29/2008 12:22

I live in Columbus, OH and there was a story on the news about how upset people are over how they say these guys look dead. I think they are blind and selfish. They troll around in cars with support our troops stickers, but never go any farther in their thinking. These guys are DYING over there for us. Peopole are just too shallow to think any deeper. I love the billboards!

Kimberly Crouch

10/28/2008 23:38



10/28/2008 23:20



10/28/2008 22:21

Being a disabled Vet that had to scratch and claw may way to my benefits, I love what this stands for. The President and Congress need to listen to the song \"Warpigs\". At some point we need to stand up as a society and take back our country.

Army Dad

10/28/2008 16:48

As the father of a soldier I know first hand what is going on behind the image. These men and women have commited their lives to protecting our freedom. So often we stop at the uniform and do not look deeper at the person. Thanks for starting the conversation.

British Gardener in Brooklyn

10/28/2008 06:25

Saw your show in NY with Maryanne some months ago and liked your transition into billboards. Hope we can get you into a space in Ausstellung, Germany. A drive through Gallery


10/28/2008 04:19

This is the kind of things billboards should really be used for. Im just posting to support the artwork. hope to see more.


10/26/2008 07:03

Thank you. THe photos were very disturbing to me. I felt ill looking at them. Ill from the malaise in their souls that radiated from their visage. Moving work.


10/25/2008 16:05

A soldier out of uniform...in the raw! To me, it shows us the person, not the uniform, not the war, not the politics but the people behind the scenes. A great reminder that those in harms way are our sons and our daughters. They are very human. This should remind people that soldiers are people too, just like the rest of us and they need our love and support.


10/22/2008 20:33

Being a veteran I found the photo very moving. I pass it every day going home from work in Houston. It's amazing how something so simple can stir so many emotions. I feel it will raise the public's awareness, again, of the soldiers that sacrifice there lives everyday. Hooah!!!!


10/20/2008 19:10

I, too, saw this in Houston and was immediately interested. These photos are beautiful.

Nicholas Schmeck

10/20/2008 02:14

I was driving through Houston and seen this billboard which just about caused me to have an accident. This soldier looks VERY similar to me and I am a soldier myself. It caught my attention, and it brought me to this site. I am an art student and I do find these to be very art related with a purpose. It is very effective.


10/16/2008 03:53

I'll admit that I am not that "in to" art, but I did immediately take offense to this billboard. I can appreciate the goal however this young man is still alive. As the sister-in-law of a fallen soldier the billboard was hard to swallow. I don't need a billboard to remember him and the sacrifice he made every day.


10/14/2008 20:03

ART! these photos scream at anyone willing to listen. These are not political -- it amazes me how few of the comemtaries actually get it. Art emotes feeling and commentary from within the observer with very little prompting from the artist.


10/14/2008 03:45

At first glance I thought it was an ad and I tried to figure out what they were selling.The more I passed by I began to see more and more detail and was taken back about how real these people were no airbrushed on/off flaws.It isn’t in the nicest(as in attitude or optimism)areas and wonder what their opinions on it are.In a way we are all like those soldiers regardles of what the backdrop might be

jack balas

10/13/2008 13:23

please find a way to opt for smaller images on the website so we can see the whole image(s) at once rather than scrolling.
Very powerful and disturbing images that straddle the line between people's want and need to be proud of these military men, and the suggestion that some really may not come home alive. If ever there were images that show both sides of this coin, these are they.


10/13/2008 02:26

Garrett's comment is preposterous. To insinuate that war - justified or not - is anything other than taxing, tiring, and (yes) weakening is delusional at best. It certainly does no service to our soldiers.

Perhaps he should be the one to leave.


10/09/2008 21:07

I really enjoy this picture...everytime i pass it, i think about the soldiers out there, fighting for us...this picture makes me want to join the military..


10/09/2008 00:54

These billboards do not portray our American soliders as defenders of freedom. They portray our soliders as weak. If you oppose the American stance on the war and everything America stands for...leave. I am sure France will welcome you!


10/06/2008 13:16

Beautiful. I see this Soldier's Face every morning in Houston. His eyes have witness things that are far beyond my comprehension and he is so, so young. May God guide him and the rest of our soldiers home safely.


10/06/2008 02:18

I have great respect for these soldiers and I appreciate their willingness to show their vulnerability and humanity to the camera. I think we should know their faces.


10/04/2008 05:56

OK - I get it. You take photos of our best fighting men and make them look like they just died. It is the face of death that the photo is trying to portray. I think you must have conned these soldiers into this gig for your message. These men are proud soildiers who volunteered to fightto protect our freedom in US and for freedom in the Middle East.


09/30/2008 20:50



09/30/2008 17:22

There are still billboards up in Houston, Texas. I saw one just yesterday, 09/29/2008. May God bless and protect all those who serve this country so unselfishly. These men and women are the reason we have the freedom to sit here, surf the web, and voice our opinions. Please don't forget that.


09/28/2008 03:10

It's been a long time since I've seen a picture that truly "tells a thousand words.

Suzanne Opton is a photographic genius. I think these photos deserve a Pulitzer.

Andrew Sinning

09/25/2008 20:17

My first thought was that this was a cynical advertising campaign, perhaps for perfume, or a clothing store. I am so tired, literally, worn down, by people trying to sell me beautiful things that I don't need. If somebody sends my children off to die in war I will tear my heart out.


09/24/2008 10:49

Beautiful. This could be my child. This is someone's child.


09/21/2008 05:30

I saw myself in their eyes.

Larry M.

09/19/2008 14:26

This clean strong image grabbed my attention immediately on a billboard need the University of Minnesota campus. Great message! I was hopeful the website would give me MORE!

Eric Clark

09/19/2008 02:39

As a graphic designer, I appreciate the use of good design. This billboard intrigued me so much I just HAD to go right home and look it up.

This isn't good design, it's GREAT design!



09/18/2008 03:14

I think it is useless for the soldiers to fight in iraq right now.


09/15/2008 22:00

i agree with CBs for not putting the dead bodys on billboards


09/15/2008 21:58

I think the photos/billboards were brilliant.
The photos humanize the soldiers, and it may help people who the billboards to understand that the soldiers who are fighting in Iraq aren't necessarily good or evil.


09/15/2008 21:47

the photos that were taken shouldn't be judged by the way others see it. Its just pictures from someone elses perspective it shouldn't be judged


09/15/2008 21:43

seein these pictures sure gave me an idea not to be a soldier cuz thats was my future..


09/14/2008 21:41

I'm visiting from Seattle and saw one of the billboards. I have to say that it is brilliant. Reading the other comments I see that this work is being censored. What a shame. Art is one of the cornerstones of our culture. This is very important work, thank you. Peace to the world.


09/14/2008 02:55

Opton's portraits have given us the unique, and uniquely human, opportunity to feel compassion, to feel with, the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for the highest, the noblest of ideals. Thanks you, Suzanne Opton for making me feel, and feel truly human and alive.


09/12/2008 19:31

Images like this are only anti-war in that they ask us to humanize our own soldiers, and in so doing, make it more difficult to be silently complacent in an immoral war such as this.

Gloria Tombe

09/12/2008 19:03

My reaction to the photographs is negative because their design are upside down. They supose to take the picures strait instead of up side down. CRUWRAES

Kyla P.

09/12/2008 18:59

I feel the billboards kind of gave the wrong message. People may look at the fact that their heads are down and they look sad and worn out and think real negative about the army. It might discourage people from wanting to join and serve their country.

Kayla D.

09/12/2008 18:58

I feel that this was a very strong and positive way to look at things. I feel that it would help people understand what is really going on with the war and the choices that this country is making.I feel that these would have shown the pain of the soldiers and what they are going through.


09/12/2008 18:58



09/12/2008 18:49

I think that the photos are kinda pointless..that she took pictures of random soliders and didnt tell anything about them..and they are all male..i kno that there is females serving to.

stephanie S.

09/12/2008 18:47

This is touching for people to actually see when your in the car or driving pass by, each and everyday it will remind you that these soldiers are out there actually fighting for us ..fighting for the freedom that we have now.


09/12/2008 18:45

I feel That These Images Show Feeling

Luis Dominguez

09/11/2008 16:24

It seems that there is a grieving feeling in their eyes, the look of experiences that strengthen their mind, body & soul. A feeling as if there is still more for them to do here..


09/11/2008 16:23

it might seem contraversial, but its all for a good cause. i hope...


09/11/2008 16:02

i dont know what to think about this ad when i see it makes me want to cry because it reminds me of my mom serving over there. She isnt just another soldier over there im proud of her and all of the soldiers serving of there. they are risking there own live s for us. thanks soldiers

Carleen Clearwater

09/10/2008 18:49

Coming from a community with 5 major military installations I can tell you that this absolutely looks like a soldier. I applaud anyone that is shining light on a different face a very real face of our soldiers. A face that the public may not be privy too. Bravo.


09/08/2008 16:03

This public billboard will touch hearts deeply -- whatever the political stance. These are human beings, not puppets. NOTE: home page white text on soldier's beautiful face is unreadable! Consider moving it to black portion of screen.


09/08/2008 02:58

Photograph is very moving and thought-provoking, by the way...


09/08/2008 02:54

These men and women do deserve our support both while they are deployed and when they return. Its also important to remember that they volunteer for this position to stand up for our country and theres only a select kind of people who are capable of that, and thats a very brave and noble thing.


09/07/2008 17:36

And another thing, Jo.
As I understand this is humanitarian project. If so, the domain name should be soldiersface.org
Not .com.
If this is commercial project ... hmmm, I don't think it's quite decent to use images of tired and exhausted soldiers to make money out of them


09/07/2008 17:16

I'm not talking about politics right now. I'm talking about imaginable real danger of the physical destruction of American cities. Would you advertise weakness of the military men?


09/07/2008 17:10

Jo, I have a question regarding your comments. No personal opinion, just question. Let's imagine ... our country shares border up North not with Canada, but with Iran, and the border down South not with Mexico, but with Iraq ...


09/07/2008 16:08

What if we delete wording from billboards? Completely. Let's leave images only .... psychological test.
Who are those guys? They don't look like soldiers to me, honestly


09/06/2008 16:39

Be proud of our brave men and women in the military. Keep the pictures up. Let's not forget our loved ones gone, and dont take for granted the ones with us here now. Thank you.


09/06/2008 16:39

You can see emotion in their faces, and almost what they have been through, putting their lives on the line so that our families can be free.


09/06/2008 16:36

A picture is worth a thousand words. Whether is politics, art, religion, or freedom of speech, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. There is so much to see in this pictures.


09/06/2008 13:09

J Nugz, you can't be serious.

J Nugz

09/05/2008 21:53

These billboards look like they smell of musk. I thought you were advertising man perfume. A good mix of 'Brut' & 'Old Spice' would fit the bill. Totally did not see they were a political statement.


09/05/2008 18:24

Heart-stopping, beautiful and moving, they bring home what we expect of these courageous young people. They should be available for all to see and think on.


09/05/2008 17:36

The other billboards we had planned in St. Paul were cancelled by CBS.
This month we will have billboards in Atlanta, Houston and Miami.

J Johnson of St. Paul, MN

09/05/2008 17:13

I saw the billboard on my way to work this morning. The photograph definitely caught my interest and I had to log onto the website to find out what it was all about.
The mans head in the photo billboard is eery-looking.
Will there be other photos billboards coming?


09/04/2008 01:59

These artworks answer the question "what part of 'thou shalt not kill' don't we get?" faster than a speeding mortar.
Haunting cocktail of smarts and patriotism.


09/03/2008 10:55

Bush & his Republican Congress' IRAQ WAR FOLLY has destroyed not only American treasure but young American lifes. Over 4000 Americans have died in this farce of a war and untold hundreds of thousands will carry the scares of Bush's war folly....

Cecilia Iwane

09/02/2008 16:33

I see a lot of sadness

Oleg Volovik

09/02/2008 08:14

Totally agree, it is Art.
But by being exposed on billboards along roads these great photographs become ads for passing by drivers. The question is ... advertising of what? :)


09/02/2008 02:40

Provocative . . . as good art should be. Though it is interesting that the photos themselves do not have a "pro" or "against" statement. It is truly up to the viewer as to what they see.

Oleg Volovik

09/01/2008 22:42

Local exposure is good enough next to the public restroom.
But not worldwide.
Bring them up, american woman, they must stand up, they are your MEN.

Oleg Volovik

09/01/2008 17:58

I am photographer.
I do not belong to any party, I'm neither republican, nor democrat.
I do belong to Photography.
And I DO know that the image of the Soldier is the Image of the person, who is able to Protect.
There is no vise versa.


08/31/2008 07:31

Beautiful, powerful images. Shame on CBS Outdoor for being so cowardly. How can anyone be offended by this? Thank you to all the soldiers who have fought to protect our nation.


08/31/2008 00:26

gorgeoous. thank you.


08/31/2008 00:02

why is the govt/media afraid of a few billboards? ---> gangstergovernment.com


08/30/2008 21:21

Thank you for your sensitive and insightful work, and for your efforts to show the country the faces of these young men. This is powerful art of the truest sort.


08/30/2008 20:05

Thank you for showing this powerful work in this powerful way. I hope many people will see it, and I hope you'll be able to show us photos of each of the billboards. Those views add to the power.


08/30/2008 20:02

What a powerful joining of art and political commentary! This is a great example of what photography does best. All kinds of emotions lie just below the surface of these wonderful faces.

Mel Ahlborn

08/30/2008 18:22

Throughout the war the National Gallery of Art was inspired by the conviction that the great art within its walls represented the highest values for which the nation was fighting. www.nga.com

Mel Ahlborn

08/30/2008 18:00

President Roosevelt said:"To accept this work today is to assert the purpose of the people of America--that the freedom of the human spirit .. which has produced the world's great art ... shall not be utterly destroyed."


08/30/2008 16:37

The public needs to see this poignant work. Isn't censorship a violation of the 1st ammendment? These photographs are important reminders of the horrific nature of war that never die in those who face war for our freedoms. the least we can do is honor their loss made on our behalf.

Lew Judd

08/30/2008 14:49

These images are so tame compared to the photos of the actual victims of war...if the public could see the mangled bodies of the men, women, children, and soldiers that are created everyday in our name, this war would end shortly. You can see the undeniable grief of the deeds done.

margaret evangeline

08/30/2008 14:22

As a mother of a just returned vet, I am outraged that this project was censored. PUT THE PHOTOS UP. ANYONE OFFENDED SHOULD WORK TO END THE WAR.
Margaret Evangeline


08/29/2008 20:49

WTF CBS Outdoor? You only like looking at us when we're in far away corner of the world killing and dying for you? Are you afraid you might offend some tender young neocon during their convention? PUT THE PICTURES UP IN THE TWIN CITIES! LET FREEDOM RING!!


08/29/2008 16:49

Kudos to Ms. Opton for her iconic images. The same goes to those who stop me to thank me for my service. I believe the billboards should stay, but I appreciate the sentiment there as well. There are many ways to say "America supports you."


08/29/2008 15:28

I think it is much of an insult and a great disrespect to these very soldiers by refusing them a chance to be seen in the public view. Everyone should be acquainted with them and should know who these people are.


08/29/2008 06:33

These photographs of our soldiers represent the freedom that our country stands for, and that includes the freedom, dignity and honor to have their faces and names shown. This project should be applauded no matter where you stand on the war.

Roy Alexander

08/29/2008 03:26

I'm glad that these were taken down. They speak to none of the dignity that goes in serving ones country, they just address the DEATH that one might face by choosing the service. WE NEED FIGHTERS! Not art.

Another World Is Possible

08/28/2008 02:34

Protest the RNC, create your flags and bring a bullhorn, MEETUSTHERE! We have no freedom of speech or expression or of life for that matter. If we do not have it in full, print the signs carry them as banners, get a few men on the inside and unroll a huge canvas from the top of the excel, MOVE or have your voice shoved under the rug!


08/28/2008 00:07

Wonderful against the sky, our soldiers with their heads on the line and our nation with its head in the sand. How can they deny you? Thank you for such a timely reminder.

Joyce Stanton

08/27/2008 21:20

"p.s.s."~ Also......it CLEARLY is because of the Republican convention being held the following day! I always thought that our country was a "free" country....remember "FREEDOM OF SPEECH"???!!!? How ironic is that?!!? That these men, and women, are fighting, and dying, for "FREEDOM"!!!

Joyce Stanton

08/27/2008 19:50

"p.s."~ I meant to say they " NEED TO" just face reality!!

Joyce Stanton

08/27/2008 19:46

These photos are REAL! It's a very sad day when the billboard company can't post something as important as this. They just face reality, and reconsider doing what they already had an agreement to do! Shame on them!!


08/27/2008 18:13

Where are the faces of the women that have served?

Cheryl McCullough

08/27/2008 03:35

I'm proud of my son-in-law Soldier Claxton. God bless him and keep all in the military and their precious families.


08/26/2008 12:07

The photos are beautiful and powerful and the billboards are a perfect venue for public art. Peace.

Illya Szilak

08/26/2008 02:04

It is very hard to make good political art, but you have. I expect you will get positive and negative reactions from across the political spectrum. I love the images. They are both intensely human and monumental. Thanks.


08/25/2008 22:30

Very striking photos and billboards. Touches you to the core.

Sidney Goldfarb

08/23/2008 00:15

These photographs have left me speechless. They remind you of the essential dignity and vulnerabiliy of these men and women.

Myers (pfc Honorable Discharge)

08/22/2008 16:30

Nice.Very classy . And very proud to have served with such fine individuals. Thank you!


08/21/2008 17:17

Thank you for visiting the photographs and billboards. I hope you will leave your response to the project.

Please enter the text you see in the image below in the appropriate input box.