Faces of Our Veterans organizers discuss upcoming event

JACKSON, Tenn. — A project to showcase those who fought for our country is back.

“This is our second year to do ‘Faces of Our Veterans.’ We started last year. Of course with all the lockdowns, we missed a lot of the older veterans who were in care facilities. So this year we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to pick up those people,” said Jackie Utley, Chair of the West Tennessee Veterans Coalition.

Those who come in will get their picture taken.

It will be displayed in November in a Veterans Day program at Highland Park Church on Campbell Street in Jackson.

They will then be displayed at Jackson City Hall until Thanksgiving.

“This is just a way to archive and record the faces of our veterans. It’s a way to honor them and to recognize their service to our country,” Utley said.

The idea came from photographer Tommy Azbill after attending a photography convention in Nashville.

“We came across two pictures at the end of a big exhibit there of two veterans sitting at a table. It just hit us personally, and we said, ‘You know? This is something we could do locally at home,'” Azbill said.

After getting in contact with the Veterans Coalition, Azbill decided to donate his photography services for free.

This year the project is also sponsored by Serra of Jackson.

“There’s no cost at all to a veteran. We’re not going to try to sell you a package of photographs. When you come in, we’ll welcome you, we’ll take your photographs and then you’ll get a free 8-by-10 color photograph at the Veterans Day celebration at the church,” Utley said.

A new addition to Faces of our Veterans this year is that any veteran in a nursing home can now be visited, and they can have their picture taken on site.

When their photo is taken, veterans will also receive a booklet that contains benefits they may not know they are eligible for.

Veterans are encouraged to wear any portion of their uniform or bring any service memorabilia.

If you are a veteran and would like to get your picture taken, you have until Aug. 24.

For a full list of dates and times or how to set up a mobile shoot, click here

Categories: Local News, News, Seen On 7