In 2014, founder and Vision of Vets Board President Bruce Roscoe had a vision on a plane ride back from Rhode Island after photographing his best friend of 58 years, Joe Rowe.
Doctors had told Joe he had only six months to live due to complications brought on by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Bruce offered to professionally photograph Joe so his family and friends would have something to remember him by when he was gone. Bruce’s idea was to create a nonprofit organization whose mission was to memorialize the stories of U.S combat veterans and share that history with the family and the world. He envisioned using a digital method for bringing photographs of combat veterans to life with the use of Live Portrait technology. Families could now view these after their loved ones had passed.
Bruce quickly gained support for his idea in the local community of Prescott, Arizona, in early 2015. This was no surprise because Prescott and the surrounding towns host the largest number of veterans per capita in Arizona. With a wonderful Veterans Administration (VA) hospital and the large veteran population, he started gathering stories with the help of experts, now his board of directors. In June 2017, the IRS recognized Vision of Vets as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and Bruce’s vision became a reality. With infrastructure to start receiving tax-deductible donations and federal and foundation grants, Vision of Vets has hit the ground running. Click here to read about us in the Prescott Daily Courier!
The scope of work that Vision of Vets is attempting to accomplish is vast and covers thirteen different wars spanning the beginning of this nation’s history to the most recent conflicts in the Middle East. Vision for Vets has already cataloged and preserved stories from different wars, including one of the only living World War II Navajo Code Talkers. Capturing stories from individuals such as Navajo Code Talker Roy Hawthorne is of utmost importance. As the Greatest Generation pass away, the specific details of their heroism and dedication to duty die with them.
The Vision of Vets team are committed to not only capturing the stories from our country’s living veterans, but also telling the stories of war heroes from the French & Indian War and forward. Vision of Vets hires professional re-enactors to bring the stories of heroism and sacrifice back to life with the use of modern technology.
Each veteran in this project will receive at no cost a professional 16×20 framed portrait and prints in different sizes, a DVD of their interview, and an essay summarizing the interview.