For some reason, we hold our soldiers to a particularly high yardstick, and I don’t really know why. I mean, we send these men (because they mostly are men) offshore for months at a time, deprive them of everything they are used to (fresh food, air conditioning, privacy, etc) and when they want to let their hair down just a little (well, if they had hair, which they don’t, because we’ve taken that away from them too) we are outraged.
Now I’m sure that some soldiers take advantage of the ‘girl in every port’ cliche, but I think most of them are entitled to a bit of well-earned release.
Dana Simmons is a photographer from Providence, Rhode Island. In her latest project, she documented American soldiers on leave from the Iraq war. The work takes on a voyeuristic yet photojournalistic tone. The images are full of flesh, colour and action, but a sense of emptiness prevails; you get the feeling that the soldiers and their girls are really just passing time to ease the boredom and numb the pain.