Sunday, April 19, 2015

Army Casualty Notification Officer

U.S. Army casualty notification officer is the one who has to tell a family their loved one was killed in combat.

Army Casualty Notification Officer

I  met Lt. Col. Jeffery Voice last week in the offices of the Casualty Assistance Center at Ft. Dix, in New Jersey. It's the office responsible for supporting surviving family members of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The unit is also home to the soldiers who must make that fateful knock on the door to deliver the worst news a military family can receive - informing them of a combat death of a loved one.

Lt. Col. Voice is one of those officers.

Listening to people talk about their jobs is a huge part of my work as a newspaper photographer. I've probably heard thousands. But none none have been as emotional as his description.

Watch the video here, as Lt. Col. Voice was interviewed (but didn't make it into the story) by Inquirer writer Carolyn Davis for part of her continuing series, "The Hidden Homefront," on the impact of war on military families.


Inquirer Staff Photographer
About this blog

Tom Gralish is a general assignment photographer at The Inquirer, concentrating on local news and self-generated feature photos.

He has been at the paper since 1983, photographing everything from revolution in the Philippines to George W. Bush’s road to the White House to homeless people living on the street right outside his newspaper's front door. For his photo essay on Philadelphia’s homeless, he was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

His weekly newspaper column, "Scene Through the Lens," takes a look at Philadelphia's urban landscape.

Gralish, along with Inquirer colleague and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Vitez, spent a year visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art to capture the stories and photos of "Rocky runners" who come from all over the world to climb the steps - just as Sylvester Stallone did in the Academy Award winning film, Rocky. Their book, Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps, was published in November 2006.

Reach Tom at

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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