My name’s Curt Edgerton and photography’s my obsession. More than hiking, kayaking, and even skydiving, photography has inspired me to live without regrets. Only a week after helping to photograph Texas Frog Fest, myself, my wife Lauren, and our crazy little schnauzer, left our home to live out of a camper van photographing National Parks. Through the lens we’ve met countless amazing people and made hundreds of friends, but few are as passionate and energetic as our Lone Survivor Foundation Family.
Over the years I’ve fallen in love with Lone Survivor Organization: Their mission, staff, and volunteer base. In the end, it’s about people. Recently, while photographing the Houston Gala, I heard some amazing testimonies. Listening to men and women speak through emotional, often cracking voices share how the retreat and therapy offered by Lone Survivor changed their lives, I had to remind myself to keep taking pictures as the authenticity of the moment became overwhelming.
With weight, a young man told us he had given up on his marriage, his kids, and life in general. He felt alone, angry, and misunderstood. Through a long camera lens, I could see his wife better than anyone in the room. Her chin began quivering. Yet, as he discussed his time at the retreat I watched a tiny smile develop. She joked that he wouldn’t take off his Lone Survivor shirt for weeks. Through that lens I saw that quivering chin shift to a joyous smile.
Partnering with Lone Survivor Foundation has shown me that this family isn’t an isolated story. They are our neighbors, our brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. They served our country and protected our freedoms. Yet, affected by what they saw or by the physical effects of explosions or trauma, they are left to fight an invisible battle raging within themselves.
I’m often asked why I give up so much time, forgo watermarking my images, and turn down paying work such as weddings for the sake of volunteer work. I can assure you, you’ve seen my images, you just don’t know it. Volunteering isn’t about attention, giving isn’t about perks. All of this is about that family getting help. No one should ever feel alone. No one should walk through a life of darkness, depression, or sadness. I don’t have a military background, but I know what a brother is. I’m not a tactically trained, physically fit, super intelligent, best of the best, but I understand “Never Quit”.
If you are interested in joining the Lone Survivor Foundation Volunteer Force, please visit www.lonesurvivorfoundation.org/volunteer.