The Odd Mix

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Location: Virginia, United States

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


You may recal several weeks ago there was an absolutely heart-rending photo on many front pages. The subject of the photo was an Army Major carrying a little Iraqi girls who had fallen victim to mass murder by vehicle explosive - and she died before he could get her to the aid station.

I find I am unable to look at that picture for more than a couple of seconds. Moreover I cannot bring myself to look at the details of the photo, they are too painfull and personal - I keep seeing how much her feet look like Bissy's, thinking of the agony of her father who probably loved her as much as I do my little ones.

And yet I also find the image compelling because of the Major (odd to think if I had stayed in, I would be a senior Major now and very possibly deployed to Iraq). The love and compassion embodied by that one soldier as a representative of our military ballances the grief and sorrow with hope and pride in our people.

The mainstream media used this image all over the place, most often accompanied by a 2 sentence bit saying only that this four year old girl was dead. But shortly after its publication I stumbled upon the blog of the photographer, Michael Yon. He is an embedded journalist with a batallion of the 24 Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (light). He has been with the unit since they entered Iraq and travels in thier Strykers on a daily basis. He writes about the experiences of the soldiers from an intensely personal point of view and illustrates his missives with outstanding photography. How the Battalion Commander entered a burning vehicle to rescue trapped men, how it feels to see the vehicle in front of yours hit with an IED, how an EOD seargent dissarms an IED which could go off at any moment, how Army medics help Iraqi children wounded by the heartless cruelty of fanatic murderers.

One of his recent posts concerns the reasons for the actions of the mainstream media in Iraq from his pespective and I found it to be very telling. Below is a link to that post, and from there you can visit the rest of his posts.

Michael Yon : Online Magazine: And now, for the rest of the story....

We are at war, and war is pain. But even in amidst the darkness there are some very bright lights. I am gratefull to Mr. Yon for showing some of them to me.


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