"Welcome Home," a collection of photographs and memorabilia, captures the reunions of family members who have been separated by repeated deployments. The exhibit was born out of firsthand accounts of talented young women -- mothers and wives -- who shared their personal insights of what homecoming means to them, their children, and the heroes they have waited so long to see.
These images show the Marine Corps itself as an extended family, whose members have celebrated together, mourned together, and helped each other during America's longest war and especially tough economic times.
The exhibit will be on display through 2016.
Weapon's Platoon: A Marine's Life in Afghanistan
"Weapon's Platoon: A Marine’s Life in Afghanistan," a photographic exhibit by Stephen Dupont, opens at the National Museum of the Marine Corps on April 4, 2012. The series of 35 photographs is a portrait of the Marine platoon Dupont was embedded with in the Spring of 2009.
"I chose to take a simple and intimate path in this project and simply asked all the Marines in the platoon to write their answers to the question 'Why are you a Marine?' in a small journal I kept while I was embedded with them. While in the field I took Polaroids of each Marine and gave them the positive as a reciprocal gesture for their participation and honesty and later, back in Sydney, printed them from the negative," Dupont explains about the project.
The Marines' answers ranged from the humorous "Why am I a Marine?" to the patriotic such as "While some people sit back and enjoy the freedom that we as Americans have, others must go out and defend it. As Marines that's what we do. America can't afford another 9/11. We as Marines not only defend our freedom, but create freedom for others….It can’t always be someone else's son."