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Craig David for Art-Sheep

Veteran portraits usually depict veterans in their uniforms and their medals, with them having a serious expression on their face. But for Michael Stokes, a fine arts photographer from California, seems to differ from the previous description.

Stokes takes an interesting approach to the genre, by taking powerful and sexually charged calendar-style photos of men and women who have lost one or more body parts during the war. Posing proudly with their amputated body parts and prosthetics, these veterans inspire with their confidence and courage.

It all started with U.S. Marine Alex Minsky, whose leg was amputated after suffering a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2009. Several veterans followed his steps and contributed with their killer pictures in Stokes’ book “Always Loyal.” As the photographer told MTV, “Some people will say to me ‘Oh, this is really helpful to their self-esteem,’ or, ‘You’re making them feel like men again.’ These guys have come to me very healed and ready to take the world on. I’m not giving them back their confidence. They already have it.”

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