A war photographer's rediscovered images from Vietnam

"Yeah, that's a lot of it."

"But because it's so, so personal, is that what makes it so hard in a lot of ways, to look?" Cowan asked.

"Well there's just places in my brain that I kind of walled off," he replied. "You take care of yourself that way, I guess.

"These just knocked down all the doors."

The doors opened thanks to Kris Regentine, who was re-building his motorcycle next to Charlie's woodworking shop.

A photographer himself, Regentine got to talking with Haughey about the Vietnam vet's long-ago job behind a lens, and Kris convinced Charlie a shoebox was no place for memories like that.

"When I first saw the first negative that I took out of the envelope, I immediately knew that it was going to be a collection of extremely powerful and important photographs," Regentine said.

Kris digitized each and every one, and put a handful on display in the shop. Much to his surprise, Charlie (and his photos) became the talk of the town. "I guess people see things in 'em, because I'm sure hearing a lot about them," he told Cowan.

The Chieu-Hoi Project (after the nickname for Charlie Haughey) features the photographer's images captured during his service in the Army's 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam, from March 1968 and May 1969. CBS News

Maybe it's because Charlie somehow captured the essence of not just fighting a war, but coping with war. Surviving that can be just as hard.

"I can look at the pictures and comment, but it's still really hard to talk about the guys," he shrugged. "I'm not celebrating me, and I'm not celebrated the art, I'm celebrating the guys in the pictures."

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