The Army Residence Community in San Antonio, TX, opened a permanent exhibit, “Before They’re Gone: Portraits & Stories of World War II Veterans,” on Sunday to honor the 23 veterans living in the military life plan community, as well as five who have died since the project began.

“With so few World War II veterans still living, we are very fortunate and honored to have 23 of them still living in our community,” Army Residence Community CEO Steve Fuller said. “This exhibit is our way of preserving their stories and our nation’s history. Photographer D. Clarke Evans did an amazing job capturing the strength and character of each veteran in his images.”

The exhibit features a professional, present-day portrait of each veteran, accompanied by their own story in their own words, along with an image of the veteran while on active duty during the war. The project began in May 2017 when Evans — the retired team photographer for the San Antonio Spurs, the son of a World War II veteran and a former Marine himself — asked permission to photograph and interview World War II veterans at the community. The request gave the leaders at the Army Residence Community the idea that they needed their own permanent exhibit. The veterans agreed, and Evans began meeting, interviewing and photographing each veteran.

The nonprofit retirement community currently serves 700 residents in independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care. It is open to retired U.S. military officers, their spouses, widows and widowers.

Click here to see the In Focus archive and read how to submit your photos for consideration.