Patrick Hughes is a familiar sight at veteran’s events; wearing cameras and a worn denim vest with lots of veteran-related patches. Along with his friend, Jack Duchak, he signed up for the U.S. Marine Corps in Upper Darby, Pa. in July 1966, and soon found himself in Chu Lai. He returned home in 1968 and never spoke of the war until 1991.
While on vacation with his family in Washington, D.C., Hughes had trouble sleeping, so he rose early and went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. That morning he started taking photographs and he’s still taking them; photos of veterans and the cost of war. He’s the national photographer for Rolling Thunder and for the American Gold Star Mothers.
His work has appeared in The VVA Veteran, and we’re honored to show his images here. See more of his remarkable photography at patrickjhughes.com
Marc Leepson is the arts editor, senior writer and columnist for The VVA Veteran, the national magazine published by VVA. He began his “Arts of War” column in the print edition of the magazine in 1986. It now appears online. He writes and edits the “Books in Review” column in the print edition and “Books in Review II” online.
Leepson was drafted in the U.S. Army in July 1967 after graduating from George Washington University. He served for two years, including a year in the Vietnam War with the 527th Personnel Service Company in Qui Nhon from December 1967 to December 1968. After his honorable discharge, he received a master’s degree in history from George Washington. He was a staff writer at Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C. in the 1970s and 80s; and is the author of eight books, including The Webster’s New World Dictionary of the Vietnam War, Saving Monticello, Flag: An American Biography, Desperate Engagement, and What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life.