Look At This

Stories about how you see the world.

Two wars, two veterans, both homeless. Henry Addington, 67, served with the Navy in Vietnam and Dan Martin, 29, was a medic in Afghanistan.

If you ask them, homeless veterans might tell you they only have a vague idea of what they look like, or how they got to where they are. At least that was true of the few we met in San Diego.

There are about 50,000 homeless vets in the U.S., according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans who have struggled with drug use or mental illness, unemployment or criminal records — or any number of things.

NPR spoke with Henry, Dan and 7 other veterans in a pop-up portrait studio at Stand Down San Diego. Find out what they had to say.

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This marks the spot where the NPR “Radio Pictures” Tumblr once stood. We’ve rolled that and NPR’s Picture Show blog into something new called Look At This. Same folks, same spirit — new name. If you followed either, don’t worry: We hope you’ll find that Look At This is just an extension of the sensibility and content you already trust.

So what’s here? Not much at the moment, beyond some inherited content and this awesome anglerfish GIF courtesy of Skunkbear. But there will be more! We want to investigate how people make sense of things, the byproducts of our obsessions. Sometimes having to do with photography, sometimes not, these are stories about how you see the world.

Sometimes we’ll do Tumblr-type posts. Other times, we’ll be experimenting with stories like this one and archiving them here — stories that aren’t quite essays or photo galleries or YouTube videos, but web stories. (Whatever that means, we’re excited to figure it out!)

We’ll be answering questions and asking them, too. For example: What should we look at next? Send us something weird:

lookatthis@npr.org
@lookatthisstory

#looksgood,
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- Claire

About a dozen military veterans have locked themselves inside a caged boxing ring, in a rough part of San Diego, and they’re starting to throw punches. It’s therapeutic, they say.

"A lot of people say, ‘You guys are punching each other in the face. How is that helpful?’ " says Aaron Espinoza, a former Marine. "But it’s a respect thing, it’s mutual. I have to push him, he has to push me to get better."

Espinoza is a regular at P.O.W., which stands for Pugilistic Offensive Warrior, a mixed martial arts training session that’s free for veterans. Iraq veteran Todd Vance founded the group after his own struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

"I was in a dark place for a long time and I personally used mixed martial arts to get myself back on track," says Vance. "Once I got back on track I went to school — studying social work."

First Rule Of The Fight Club: You Must Be A Veteran

Photo Credit: David Gilkey/NPR

nprglobalhealth:

Reporting On Ebola: An Abandoned 10-Year-Old, A Nervous Neighborhood
Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is under nighttime curfew as that country struggles to contain the Ebola epidemic. On Wednesday, an entire neighborhood in Monrovia was quarantined, sealed off from the rest of the city by the government. The neighborhood is called West Point and it’s where a holding center for patients suspected of having Ebola was attacked over the weekend. Patients fled, and looters carried off bloody mattresses and other possibly infected supplies. The NPR team in Liberia visited West Point on Tuesday. We spoke to correspondent Nurith Aizenman about the experience.
What is West Point like?
It is a sort of finger of land, a little sandy peninsula that juts out from a nicer area of Monrovia, abutting a river on one side and the ocean on the other. It’s about 800 meters long and 550 meters wide. There are only two roads in that are paved. The rest is a thicket of shacks and houses and huts, pretty much all one story and built of plywood or cement blocks, with corrugated metal on the rooftops. Between them are sandy pathways. It’s so closely packed that in some cases if you’re trying to get to your house you have to walk through someone else’s house.
Both sides of the paved roads are packed with shops selling all manners of goods, vegetables, fish. There are throngs of people, carrying big buckets on their heads with all sorts of goods. If you drive in, you gently nudge your way forward, parting this sea of people.
And that’s where NPR’s photographer David Gilkey encountered the 10-year-old in the picture above?
Residents had originally found this boy naked on the beach. They dragged him up to a sort of alleyway and put a shirt and pants on him. But beyond that no one wanted to touch him, no one wanted to give him shelter, because it seems he was a child who had been at that holding center for Ebola patients.
Continue reading.
Photo: A 10-year-old boy suspected of being sick with Ebola was found naked on the beach by residents of West Point. They dressed him but couldn’t find a clinic to take him in at first. Eventually he was was taken to JFK Hospital in Monrovia. (David Gilkey/NPR)
Related: Out, Out, Damned Ebola: Liberia Is Obsessed With Hand Washing

A heartbreaking image by NPR’s David Gilkey while covering Ebola in Monrovia. -Emily

nprglobalhealth:

Reporting On Ebola: An Abandoned 10-Year-Old, A Nervous Neighborhood

Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is under nighttime curfew as that country struggles to contain the Ebola epidemic. On Wednesday, an entire neighborhood in Monrovia was quarantined, sealed off from the rest of the city by the government. The neighborhood is called West Point and it’s where a holding center for patients suspected of having Ebola was attacked over the weekend. Patients fled, and looters carried off bloody mattresses and other possibly infected supplies. The NPR team in Liberia visited West Point on Tuesday. We spoke to correspondent Nurith Aizenman about the experience.

What is West Point like?

It is a sort of finger of land, a little sandy peninsula that juts out from a nicer area of Monrovia, abutting a river on one side and the ocean on the other. It’s about 800 meters long and 550 meters wide. There are only two roads in that are paved. The rest is a thicket of shacks and houses and huts, pretty much all one story and built of plywood or cement blocks, with corrugated metal on the rooftops. Between them are sandy pathways. It’s so closely packed that in some cases if you’re trying to get to your house you have to walk through someone else’s house.

Both sides of the paved roads are packed with shops selling all manners of goods, vegetables, fish. There are throngs of people, carrying big buckets on their heads with all sorts of goods. If you drive in, you gently nudge your way forward, parting this sea of people.

And that’s where NPR’s photographer David Gilkey encountered the 10-year-old in the picture above?

Residents had originally found this boy naked on the beach. They dragged him up to a sort of alleyway and put a shirt and pants on him. But beyond that no one wanted to touch him, no one wanted to give him shelter, because it seems he was a child who had been at that holding center for Ebola patients.

Continue reading.

Photo: A 10-year-old boy suspected of being sick with Ebola was found naked on the beach by residents of West Point. They dressed him but couldn’t find a clinic to take him in at first. Eventually he was was taken to JFK Hospital in Monrovia. (David Gilkey/NPR)

Related: Out, Out, Damned Ebola: Liberia Is Obsessed With Hand Washing

A heartbreaking image by NPR’s David Gilkey while covering Ebola in Monrovia. -Emily

nprglobalhealth:

Hit Hard By Ebola, Liberia Now Has A Third Treatment Center

The Ebola outbreak has been spreading through Liberia with alarming speed — more than 780 cases, with 100 identified over a recent two-day period. Yet for weeks there have been only two places in the country where patients could get medical care, one in the country’s rural north and one in the capital, Monrovia.

Doctors Without Borders has now opened a third facility.

The new center sits in the middle of a vast, muddy field on the outskirts of Monrovia. Orange mesh fencing surrounds long white tents. The facility has only been open for an hour and already about a dozen men, women and children are waiting outside. They had arrived hours earlier, dispersed when it began raining heavily and then returned.

"I’ve been trying to find them for the last hour or two but thankfully they’ve come back and we’ll screen them," says Brett Adamson, the coordinator of the center. Like everyone here, he’s soaking wet. He looks over at the people in line and says there’s a good possibility many of them have Ebola.

"These are patients that have been to the existing facility and [there was] no space," Adamson says. "They’ve essentially been turned away, and they’ve been waiting for us to open."

Continue reading.

Top Photo: A man sits on a bed that will be part a new Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, run by Doctors Without Borders. (David Gilkey/NPR)

Bottom Photo: A nurse dons protective gear before entering the new Ebola treatment facility in Monrovia. (David Gilkey/NPR)

Our Staff Photographer David Gilkey is in Liberia covering the Ebola outbreak. For more Ebola coverage, head to Goats And Soda, NPR’s Global Health and Development blog.