For Veteran’s Day, I’m honored to share a diverse set of images of veterans who reside at The NJ Veterans Home At Vineland. I was hired to photograph these extraordinary individuals for the November issue of New Jersey Monthly Magazine, which is dedicated to Veterans Day. This home was founded in 1899 and has housed vets from the War of 1812.

“In all of New Jersey, there may be no other patch of earth that has been home to veterans of more American wars than the 26 green and placid acres alongside the railroad tracks a few blocks north of downtown Vineland. Since 1899, it has been the site of the various incarnations of a state facility familiarly known as the Old Soldiers Home. When it opened, it had 46 residents, most of them veterans of the Civil War. Today, it has 296 residents, most of whom served during World War II, but others in Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm.1” – Kevin Coyne for New Jersey Monthly

Due to limited access and logistics we were contained to the theater room at the facility along with a military assigned media escort. We used a simple grey background to create separation while allowing the carpet and flag(s) that were already in the room  to provide context without overwhelming the subjects. The background and background stands remain part of the image showing a set within an environment – both a traditional and contemporary approach.

Dr. Leonard "Doc" Streitfeld, War Veteran, for New Jersey Monthly

Dr. Leonard “Doc” Streitfeld – 94 year old WWII veteran who flew 31 missions over occupied Europe in World War II including flying during The Battle of the Bulge in a B-17 bomber.

Dr. Leonard "Doc" Streitfeld, War Veteran, for New Jersey Monthly

Dr. Leonard “Doc” Streitfeld, War Veteran

Andrew Vaden, War Veteran for New Jersey Monthly

Andrew Vaden – 67 year old Vietnam and Desert Storm vet whose father and grandfather served in African-American units in the segregated military in World War II. He served as a police officer in between Vietnam and Kuwait.

Andrew Vaden

Andrew Vaden, War Veteran

Raymond Wynder Jr. War Veteran for New Jersey Monthly

Raymond Wynder Jr. – Served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division and is a passionate volunteer at the home. “When I came back home I was kind of off the charts…I was a soldier in civilian life and didn’t realize it.”

Raymond Wynder Jr. War Veteran for New Jersey Monthly

William (Bill) Nixon – 96 year old WWII vet and served with a Bridgeton National Guard unit eventually landing in the South Pacific with the 152nd Field Artillery, fighting across the Solomon Islands.

William Nixon and Raymond Wynder Jr.

William Nixon and Raymond Wynder Jr. have evolved a ritual of recognition. Wyndor slaps his right thigh in a rapid rhythm—“the hambone,” he calls it—and Nixon answers with the same. “This is my way of giving back,” Wynder says, before wheeling his buddy.

Chaplain Anthony E. Elliott Sr. for New Jersey Monthly

Reverend Anthony E. Elliott Sr. – Chaplain at the NJ Veterans Home at Vineland who also pastors a Pentecostal Church in Millville, NJ

 

  1. Coyne, Kevin. “Veterans Remember the Best Years of Their Lives.” NJ Monthly, 8 Nov. 2016, https://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/people/veterans-remember-best-years-of-lives.