Stacy Pearsall documented the harsh realities of deployed military life as a combat photographer
, who currently serves on the Citadel's advisory board for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
, is a military photojournalist and 15 of her photos, which were taken during her deployment in Iraq, will be on display at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery starting April 7.
Pearsall was the founder of the Charleston Center for Photography
Pearsall has an impressive resume, to say the least. The photographer has traveled to over 41 countries and served in three combat tours; she is the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and Air Force Commendation with Valor; and she is one of two women to earn the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Military Photographer of the Year award, which she took home twice. In 2013, Pearsall was also awarded an honorary doctoral degree from The Citadel for her contributions to the college, to American veterans, and to the U.S. Armed Forces.
The Smithsonian's exhibition, The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now
, includes paintings, drawings, photographs, and video to convey the reality of the modern soldier.
Of her selected photographs, Pearsall said, "I sought to show what happens when the bullets weren’t flying — to capture combat’s physical and emotional toll, illustrate the intimate bonds forged under fire and the personal solitude felt by many despite being surrounded by people. I wanted to demonstrate there’s more to war than bullets, there’s human beings.”