Veteran wins spotlight for ‘burrito walk’ photography

Each working day, Sean Dustman can take a stroll about the Whidbey Island Navy base.

If you ended up to move him, you might figure out him by the brightly colored shirts he frequently wears, picked out for him by his 5-calendar year-aged daughter. The breakfast burrito he invariably has in his hand would also be a great indication.

But the finest way to decide on out Dustman is to glance for the guy taking shots of just about every interesting matter he sees along the way.

Though Dustman’s images gained him the Oak Harbor Library’s featured artist slot for the month of November, his daily “burrito walks” are about much more than art for Dustman, his conventional stroll is about mindfulness, increasing his psychological wellbeing and appreciating the earth all over him.

Dustman, a retired Navy corpsman from Arizona, served in the army for 20 several years, including four tours in Iraq.

“I had a bunch of hard tours, rough locations,” Dustman stated. “I am an aerospace med tech, and I did a bunch of mishaps and ended up accomplishing a ton of mishaps with men and women that I realized.”

Dustman said the memories of the people he wasn’t capable to help you save haunted him soon after he retired. By means of therapy, he uncovered to determine and tackle triggers he encountered, but he explained he still did not feel like his outdated self.

“I even now was not all there, I was nevertheless dwelling daily life in a fog,” he wrote in his artist biography for the library, noting that the winter months had been specially tough to endure due to the fact he put in all daylight hours doing the job in his business in the aviation medical documents office on the Navy base.

One autumn day, he made a decision to invest his lunch hour exterior on the strolling trails that wind all around the base. Dustman stated he took a breakfast burrito with him, considering the fact that it is simple to consume whilst strolling, and paid out consideration to everything he observed.

Soaking up the daylight and enjoying the island’s unmatched splendor adjusted Dustman’s outlook and temperament. He resolved to make the “burrito wander,” as he phone calls it, a day by day tradition — one that he has managed for 5 yrs.

“Suddenly, I noticed that I started off genuinely caring about my get the job done and accomplishing issues with objective,” he explained to the library. “My edges became more rounded and I became much more than just me. I had acquired a amount of comprehension that went over and above my get the job done and into my homelife.”

The path he usually takes changes every day. Dustman said he does not program his route forward of time instead, he allows his toes have him the place they could. From time to time, his path potential customers him as a result of the woods. Other times, he walks the shoreline.

What will make a good wander, Dustman explained, is coming across one thing attractive or odd. Anytime he encounters anything attention-grabbing in the nature about him, he usually takes a photo of it, which he usually posts on Instagram afterwards.

Dustman initially delved into pictures back again in 2003 as a device photographer in the armed forces. Given that retiring, he will photograph the occasional marriage or other celebration. But on burrito walks, Dustman doesn’t normally bring together his Canon camera he just makes use of his cell mobile phone.

It was these mobile mobile phone pictures and the story at the rear of them that caught the interest of Oak Harbor library workers. Library affiliate Natasha Vanderlinden reported she was happy the timing labored out in these a way that the library could share Dustman’s story during Veterans Day.

“I was unaware till Sean submitted his bio that he is a veteran, but I am absolutely delighted that we are so lucky to have his work throughout the thirty day period in which veterans are honored, especially as his tale is so courageously advised and significant to share,” she claimed.

Dustman’s photography will be on display screen at the Oak Harbor library through the finish of November.

Photo by Sean Dustman


Kenneth Proto

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