A personal war, at home


Jared Starkel returned from Iraq four years ago, but the memories of his service there have yet to leave him.

Recurring dreams and overwhelming, painful emotions oftentimes make daily interactions a complicated, internal struggle for Jared.

Now, with a wife and four children to support, Jared is trying even harder to combat his PTSD so he can spend more time with the family he loves.

More than a Warrior


By Michelle San Miguel
News21 / Syracuse University

Jared Starkel was walking past the dairy case at Prince’s Center — the grocery store where he worked — when the “threat” appeared out of nowhere.

An Arab man was coming toward him.

Jared’s mind processed the data: Turban. Beard. Blue, flowing garment.

All in the Family

The Starkel/Thornton Family. Photo by: AJ Chavar

We had a lengthy portrait session the other day with Jared's family, but it was nice to get some shots for them to have as keepsakes besides the standard photojournalistic images I have taken. Ultimately they'll be getting CDs (and hopefully prints) of the work we've done on the family, and I thought some portraits could both add to the coverage we are doing, and be a nice way to say "thank you" to them for letting us into their lives so easily and so frequently!

Left: Jared and Clark; Middle: Katy and Ashleigh; Right: Cassie and Garryn

All in the family

Justin tries to save the saintly cat. Photo by: Juliette Lynch

It was, by all accounts, a fairly normal night for Joanna and her brood of brawling boys.

Finding A Community

Hollenbeck passes a sign up sheet for NCW Blue Star Mothers. Photo by:Kelly West

I really try not to cry when I'm working. Party because I think its a little unprofessional, and partly because it makes it hard to focus my camera. During this project, though, people share such personal and emotional experiences with you that sometimes its hard not to. Last night was definitely one of those moments.

The Starkel family

Photo by: Katy Hurst

Just four years after his last deployment with the United States Marine Corps, Jared Starkel stands at the grave of a beloved family member. Buried in the Oroville Riverview Cemetery are family members who served in the military. As he stands in the pouring rain to honor his loved ones, his children gallop throughout the grounds, placing flowers on the graves.

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