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Artwork by Tiffany Fudge

Tiffany served 12 years in the Army as a 25V Combat Documentation Production Specialist, also known as a Combat Camera. Tiffany has worked with many different militaries all over the world, including her most memorable with the Japanese self-defense force during Operation Tomodachi after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. She feels her time in the military was exciting and fulfilling and believes she had the best job in any service.

I captured these moments during my two month long mission to Japan for Operation Tomodachi with the US Army. Operation Tomodachi was a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission conducted by the United States military in response to the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. The operation’s name, “Tomodachi,” means “friend” in Japanese, reflecting the solidarity and support between the United States and Japan during this crisis. The devastation I witnessed is something I will never forget, nor will I forget the unwavering dedication of the Japanese self-defense for their people no matter what horrors they faced digging through the rubble of what was once a living breathing community of Japanese citizens.

Memorial services are solemn occasions that honor fallen soldiers and provide an opportunity for their comrades, friends, and leadership to pay respects and commemorate their sacrifice. The memorial serves as a moment of closure for those who knew the fallen service member. It allows them to grieve collectively, find solace in shared memories, and reaffirm their commitment to honoring the legacy of their comrade as they continue their own service. I’ve captured many memorial services, but this one stands out the most to me. My first memorial service in country, a young father who was taken on Easter morning by an IED planted on route to another patrol base. A tight- knit tanker unit in Southwest Iraq will forever have a scarred memory every Easter morning, and I will never forget the images of that day. The tank shown was his and his crew’s

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