Watch a man in times of... adversity to discover what kind of man he is;
for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his heart,
and the mask is torn off.
~Lucretius, On the Nature of Things
Tempered Steel - The Story Behind the Scars
Ret. Army Sgt. Scott Stephenson and his mother, Luana Schneider, decided to
co-found Tempered Steel after he was seriously wounded and disfigured in
Iraq in November 2006. Their first hand experiences to the responses Sgt.
Stephenson's injuries evoked on civilians and military alike, compelled them
to break down the barriers between wounded and disfigured veterans and those
who only see their scars. The goal of Tempered Steel is to educate by
exposing the very real human stories behind the wounds of war.
Wounded Military Project
In deciding to co-found Tempered Steel, Scott and Luana contacted other severely
wounded military members and asked for their participation and involvement.
The response was overwhelmingly, "YES". Our severely injured military
members have had to learn to deal with the public's perception of who they
were based on nothing more than a glance. As these wounded explained, "they
are in essence, still the person they were before the injuries..on the
inside". To each of them they had not fundamentally changed who they were,
just the way they looked and how the public now viewed them.
Heroes Shunned By Those They Served
Each disfigured hero, in their own way, has had to learn how to function in
a society that in many ways has shunned them or are even outright horrified
at the mere sight of these wonderful heroic men and women.
Warriors Photographic Story
Through the photo introspective and videography of these wounded warriors,
Tempered Steel will be re-introducing society to the stories behind the
scars. These wounded warriors from the Iraq/Afghanistan Wars allowed the
photographer and videographer to share in their vulnerability, strength,
humor and adaptability. The very personal glimpses into the eyes of these
military heroes will bring about a greater compassion and empathy that those
injured heroes greatly desire from their communities. By exposing their
wounds with great humility, they desire to open a dialogue between the
disfigured and disabled world and the communities they live in.
Notice: The stories and images appearing on TemperedSteelinc.org are the protected copyright property of
Tempered Steel Inc.
and may not be reproduced in any form without the expressed written permission of Tempered Steel Inc. board of directors. Photography by Bensko Photography.