In some locations we get to photograph in, there are some who take a little bit more talking with to coax them into having the honor to photograph them and their story.
A prime example is Army veteran, Jay Cabacar. Des’ola was the first one to eye him in all of his uniform glory in the crowd of the VFW Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. She walked up to him, and that was the beginning of the journey to learning a part of his story. For half an hour, they chatted while sharing popcorn. There are times even after an hour of chatting (if time permits), a veteran decides to not be photographed. However, Cabacar accepted Des’ola’s almost-plea of asking to be a part of the Veterans Portrait Project at the end of talking 30 minutes.
Cabacar enlisted in March of 1962. Consequently, this landed him squarely in the Vietnam War. He was part of the Tet Offensive, one of the largest military campaigns during that war. He achieved the highest enlisted rank in the Army, Sergeant Major. His inspiration to join the military was his father, also an Army veteran who served in WWII. Unfortunately, his father was murdered after returning home from war by thugs attempting to rob him. This tragedy was never solved.
We are very grateful Jay Cabacar sat in the studio for his Veterans Portrait Project photograph. His immensely heroic efforts are not forgotten!
“Being a veteran is the highest honor. It’s my tribute to the greatest country in the world. God bless the USA!” – Cabacar
© Veteran portrait by Stacy L. Pearsall, story by Des’ola Mecozzi