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Wounded Veterans Bare All in Photographer Michael Stoke's Book 'Always Loyal'

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These images are so much more than just sexy photographs.

Michael Stokes, a photographer from Berkeley, California, has two new books of his work coming out soon. One of them, called “Always Loyal,” features semi nude and nude photos of amputee veterans of the U.S. military. The other book, “Exhibition,” consists of male erotic images and figure studies of fitness competitors, personal trainers and body builders from around the world, as well as some veterans.

The Kickstarter campaign for the books reached its $48,250 goal in a little over an hour and, after just two weeks, more than tripled that number.

naked man with amputated leg

Stokes became involved with veterans while working on his last book, “Bare Strength.” In it, he had a chapter featuring veterans Alex Minksy, Brad Ivanchan and Chris Van Etten. He raised $10,000 from sales of the book and donated it to The Semper Fi Fund, an organization that provides financial assistance and support to wounded veterans.

“In some ways working with vets is easier than fitness models because they are used to taking order,” Stokes told The Mighty. “They also don’t complain about anything, ever.”

Always Loyal” features around 14 different United States Army, Navy and Marine veterans of The Gulf Wars, including one woman. The majority of them have lost one or more limbs in IED (improvised explosive device) attacks.

woman with amputated arms wearing flowered shirt

The hardcover photo book will be approximately 80-96 pages and will consist of both color and black and white images. Each veteran has a bio page and details related to his or her injuries.

Some people will say to me ‘Oh, this is really helpful to their self-esteem,’ or, ‘You’re making them feel like men again,’” Stokes told MTV News. “I hear all these types of comments, and the response I have to that is that these guys have come to me very healed and ready to take the world on. I’m not giving them back their confidence. They already have it.”

Check out some of the images from the book below: 

naked man with leg amputated

naked man laying back, showing leg amptuation

naked man flexing

man lifting up his kilt to show amputation

man with army uniform and sunglasses

naked man with leg amputated, sitting down

shirtless man with no legs, smiling and wearing sunglasses

man with no legs pulling up his shirt and pointing to abs

man with double leg amputation holding a weapon

man with no legs sitting on pillar

woman holding weapon behind naked man with no legs

man with amputation wearing a kilt

man in his underwear holding chains

naked man with american flag prosthetic leg

naked man with amputation

man with american flag prosthetic leg standing by a jeep

man with prosthetic american flag leg holding a gun

silhouette of man with prosthetic leg

shirtless man crossing his arms

man with prosthetic legs posing for photos

man missing a foot holding on to two ropes

shirtless man with two prosthetic legs

man with prosthetic leg posing holding his shirt up

man with prosthetic leg wearing a green kilt

man with prosthetic leg holding chains

naked man with two prosthetic legs

man with prosthetic legs in his underwear using one leg to prop gun up

naked man with missing foot laying on three pillars

shirtless man with prosthetic legs, posing with hand over his heart

naked man with prosthetic legs, posing with gun

shirtless man with prosthetic leg wearing checkered pants

man with prosthetic leg lifting a weight

 Visit Michael Stokes’s Facebook page for more information and to read more on the models’s individual stories. 

Originally published: July 15, 2015
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