The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have created a new generation of American war veterans.

These men and women join a long line of people who have fought on behalf of the United States.

Their stories are new and familiar, historic and personal. They are defined by the current moment, but also inextricably linked to the experiences of those who served before them. All bear the physical and emotional scars left by the violence of war. Many carry the burdens that come from inflicting that violence on others.

“After the Wars” is a multimedia documentary project designed to preserve and share the stories of American war veterans from World War II to today.

The project combines photographs and recordings of ten veterans who fought across seven decades. By looking into their lives and hearing their stories, we hope to explore how their experiences fit together. In doing so, we believe we can better understand the nation that we share with them.

Photographs by Paul Calhoun. Audio by Ben Calhoun. Edited by Cate Cahan.