Justin Murphy

Justin Murphy is a graduate of the Master's program in magazine, newspaper and online journalism at Syracuse University. Born in Rochester, N.Y., he did his undergraduate work in linguistics at the University of Chicago and taught historical linguistics at Vilnius University in Lithuania. He also has an interest in baseball history, and writes for www.seamheads.com and the Society for American Baseball Research. Murphy currently covers county government for The Citizen in Auburn, N.Y.

This is Our Freedom
All That Lingers
A Gift Given

A message for ...

Photo by Juliette Lynch

Three months have passed since we posted our stories and folded up the tents. We've gotten a lot of great feedback and some good exposure, and we thank everyone who took the time to click on our work.

We've all moved on to other things now – internships, jobs, finishing up degrees and starting toward new ones. As our time in the woods of Washington fades into memory, though, it's hard to forget the personal stories we heard from the men and women who have served our country.

All good things ...

All of us with our K Diamond K friends!

Well, last week we packed up and moved out of the K Diamond K bunkhouse, where we had been living for nearly seven weeks. 

Now we're back in Syracuse, working in a windowless, fluorescent-lit room in Newhouse. Don't get me wrong, the computer labs at the university are fantastic, but nothing compares to working in a window-filled room surrounded by beautiful mountainous landscapes.

Different Vets in ...

Ed Bush and Bob Davis talk as the sun sets. Photo by: Juliette Lynch

Ed and Linda Bush took another several hours of their time Saturday to escort Juliette and I around to veterans in the woods of Ferry and Okanogan counties. We met two: Mike Rounds and Bob Davis.

Mike, who spent four years in the Army during the Vietnam War, has steely eyes, a cool, steady voice, and 20 gorgeous acres far above a wooded valley. For 25 years, he designed traffic patterns for major events in Seattle, a job that gave him a thorough distaste for city life. “I see living out here as definitely an escape,” he said.

The Uncharted road

The sign outside of Gary's house from our first visit. Photo by Juliette Lynch

When you think you might get shot, it’s scary.

To wit: Juliette and I drove into the woods near Lost Lake yesterday to track down our “mountain vets,” Gary LaShelle and Frank Walaczek. After nine miles of single-lane dirt-road driving, it turned out neither was home. We think.

A fork in the woods


There is a fork in a dirt road near Lost Lake on the way to Chesaw. Both paths lead to secluded Vietnam vets with decided opinions about their service and the current state of the nation.