War Stories

Never Coming Home

What it’s like to lose a son in the Iraq war.

Never Coming Home is about the families of five young men killed in Iraq. Each day this week, Slate presents a short documentary that focuses on the bereavement of the parents, or in one case, a brother. This portrait of grief and sacrifice is brought to life through the use of still photography and the recorded voices of family members.

This project began in the summer of 2004, when audio producer Zachary Barr, photojournalist Andrew Lichtenstein, and producer Brian Storm conceived of a series that, in the style of Ken Burns, would leverage the power of still imagery and spoken word, allowing subjects to tell their own stories. Barr and Lichtenstein started traveling the country to report on the families of service members killed in Iraq. They are still documenting this story and have gathered material from nine families. Watch Never Coming Home.

Read the transcripts: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5.