The Story of War Revealed Through a Single Look – Welcome Home, Hank Januchowski
Power in a Picture
War Veteran Hank Januchowski was just doing his job that day in Vietnam when photographer Larry Burrows asked to take his picture.
“What do you want me to do?” Hank asked Larry.
“Just do what you’re doing.”
So Hank kept doing his job, the job of a marine. And Larry captured an image of Hank that’s reached into the hearts of millions over the past 40 years and told the story of war in one look.
Hank’s daughter, Cinncinati news reporter Kristyn Hartman, asked her dad, “How would you describe that expression?”
“Anybody that’s been in combat and has been shot at, and if they told me they weren’t scared, I’d call them a liar. That’s just the way it is. That’s what I see. I see . . . I see a marine that was doing his duty. Doing his job.”
Final Image in Tour of Duty by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
Famed filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick created the PBS 10-episode special “Vietnam War” and chose Hank’s picture out of about 25,000 photos as the final image for the “Tour of Duty” episode.
Kristyn watched the special at home and instantly recognized her dad.
This led to the moment she’d waited for most of her life. Her dad finally opened up about his experience in Vietnam and this photo.
Together with Kristyn, the WCPO news team created a gripping report on her dad — this courageous war vet — and the power of a picture. A picture of not only Kristyn’s dad but of my dear friend Craig’s as well.
When my husband Larry and I met Craig, one of the first things he talked about was his mom and dad’s amazing love story. And then he talked about his dad’s service in the war. And this photo.
At times, the look in Craig’s eyes when he speaks of his dad mirrors the look his father’s eyes held that day Larry Burrows froze them in time.
Craig’s eyes speak a man who’s seen and experienced life in ways no man ever should.
But then Craig’s eyes brighten and laugh as he looks back on what it was like to be raised by this man who fought hard when necessary but came home and loved well.
Larry and I have had the great pleasure and honor of meeting Hank, and now to see this incredible story, we’re even more honored.
War Vets, We Honor You
Over the course of history, men and women have sacrificed much for God, country, and family.
Every soldier has gone into battle not knowing what the end of the day would bring. If they’d ever see their loved ones again. But they went anyway.
For those who fought for freedom and died, I say Thank you! May God pour out blessings on your family and comfort them.
For those who fought for freedom and lived, I say, Thank you! And welcome home! May you feel honored by all of us who’ve benefitted from your sacrifice. And may you know the comfort only the Lord can give when memories you long to forget return. You did it for us so we wouldn’t have to. Thank you!
Today, I honor Hank and all the other war vets in our country by sharing this touching report on the look of war and the power in a picture. And thank you, Kristyn, for sharing your dad’s story with us: