This past week, I visited the homes and photographed two courageous American Heros for my multimedia photo project: Proud to Serve
Brett Edward Stout, was born in Cedar Rapids Iowa in 1978. At the age of 18 he joined the United States Marine Corps where he studied Russian at the renowned Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. After attending a secondary school in Texas he was stationed at Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base, Hawaii as a Russian cryptologic linguist and weapons marksmanship instructor. In 2002 he was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps. Brett, published his first novel Sugar-baby Bridge. He currently works in New York City.
At the age of 19, Bronwen Tomb joined the Coast Guard to ”experience adventure and at the same time help people.” Bronwen landed her first duty station off the coast of Oregon and later found herself sailing across Europe, attaining the life of adventure she had always wanted. Her hard work and perseverance eventually led her to being selected to attend the US Coast Guard Academy. Though she flourished at the academy, her tenure would come to an abrupt end when a classmate decided to out her to her command. “After a few months of regular conversation I told him that I am a lesbian. Two days later he had notified the company chief and lieutenant, and discharge proceedings began.” Though she had the choice to sign a waiver of denial, she felt her honesty and integrity were more important, and refused to sign the document. “Overall I felt very accepted during my time in the Coast Guard. I only wish that the few individuals who did not accept me did not have the law on their side.” Bronwen currently resides in Staten Island, NY and recently completed her B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.