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Vietnam: The Real War

By Jane Hwang - 2013-10-08T14:55:40Z

Photograph by Sal Veder

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Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm is greeted by his family at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, as he returns home from Vietnam on March 17, 1973, after five and a half years as a prisoner of war. In the lead is Stirm’s daughter Lori, 15, followed by son Robert, 14, daughter Cynthia, 11, wife Loretta and son Roger, 12. Although the photo captured the nation’s euphoria at the release of the POWs, the family’s own story was not as happy. Stirm already knew that his wife was filing for divorce, and their marriage ended bitterly the following year. 

This photograph received the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography.