It is hard to imagine that anyone could be more excited than me to help announce the Best in Show winners of the Office of Art in Embassies and the Department of Defense joint "Serving Abroad…Through Their Eyes" photography project. A year ago this week, we sent a call out to all military, foreign, and civil service personnel, asking for their images of their time abroad. By February 20, 2012, we were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of images we received.
Narrowing down over 3,200 images to twelve is a harrowing task under the best of circumstances. As Art in Embassies Imaging Manager, I have lived with all the images for a year; read each caption at least once, sometimes laughing at the circumstances that created the image, and most often being incredibly moved, by the sacrifice inherent in the image. When the day came to call the "Best in Show" winners, I was beyond thrilled. Not only had their images been selected by a jury of some of the most prestigious photographers and photo editors in the business, but a panel of noted Americans including Joint Chief Members and former Secretaries of State picked THEIR images. I have lived with the secret knowledge of who would be coming to Washington, D.C. to be honored for months, and finally it is time to share the winning names and images with the world.
U.S. Department of State's Office of Art in Embassies and the Department of Defense are proud to announce the Best in Show winners for the "Serving Abroad…Through Their Eyes" photography project. The winners will be honored in Washington on November 30, 2012.
• Benjamin Altenes of Utah, a Diplomatic Security Officer with the Department of State
• Harold Bonacquist of Virginia, a Desk Officer with the Department of State
• U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Francisco V. Govea II of California, currently stationed in the United States
• Jonathan Paul Howard of Virginia, a Deputy Press Attache with the Department of State, currently stationed in Brussels
• Alda Kauffeld of Virginia, a DOC Specialist with USAID, currently stationed in Accra, Ghana
• Tennessee Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Russell Lee Klika
• U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Chad D. Nelson of Iowa, currently stationed in the United States
• U.S. Army Infantry Captain, John Rutledge of Washington State, currently stationed in the United States
• Former U.S. Army Sergeant Monica K. Smith of Kentucky
• U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Joshua Strang of Maryland, currently stationed in the United States of America.
• U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Alvin Williams, Jr. of Virginia, currently stationed in the United States of America.
• U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Cohen A. Young of South Carolina, currently stationed in the United States
To view all of the best in show and finalist images for the project, and to see how the images will be put on exhibition, please visit the following link: http://www.art.state.gov/Anniversary.aspx?tab=images&tid=106248