William Low



William Low: Jack of Diamonds

The image of the traditional Jack of Diamonds features Jack holding a sword. I wanted to use this image as a backdrop to feature a contemporary soldier. As I was working on the project, I came across an interview on the NPR show, Fresh Air with Marine Corporal Jose Armenta. The interviewee talked about his missions with his dog, Zenet who was specially trained to look for IEDs - improvised explosive devices planted by the Taliban.

In the interview Armenia talks about Zenet’s training to look for a buried rubber toy and how this translates into sniffing bombs that are hidden in the roadside. The story continues to the day when Zenet missed a small bomb and injured Armenia when it exploded. As he was recovering, Zenet was reassigned, but when Armenia was discharged he was able to bring Zenet back to the United States to retire as his own pet.

Dogs are natural pack animals; through these shared experiences, words cannot describe the powerful bond between Jose and Zenet. I wanted to create an image that portrayed that bond. The card features a patrolling soldier, with his machine gun ready, alongside his dog. Both are watchful and alert. In the card, Jack’s eyes peer out from the backdrop-- I like the idea that the three pairs of eyes are always on the lookout.