Pearsall returns to Newhouse to tell stories of war, Oprah

Former combat photographer and Newhouse grad Stacy Pearsall spoke about her experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After combat photographer Stacy Pearsall was discharged as disabled from the Air Force at age 28, she didn't know what to do with her life. But she knew one thing: "Being disabled did not mean I was unable."

Staff Sgt. Pearsall, who was the first woman to win the National Press Photographers Association's military photographer of the year, graduated in 2004 from Newhouse School's Military Photojournalism Program. She spoke Thursday night before a standing room only crowd. Her hourlong talk included behind-the-scene accounts of war and, in a lighter vein, her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show.

Pearsall was injured twice, once by a roadside bomb and again when she was shot trying to save a soldier's life. After her discharge, she began taking her camera to therapy sessions and shooting photographs of other injured veterans -- more than 300 in all. She also has produced video for a company that makes military armor.

"I've created a niche myself," Pearsall said. "I thought my career was  over. I was really just segueing into a whole new life."


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