Am I to blame for his private war?


The young marine lit a cigarette and let it dangle. White smoke wafted around his helmet. His face was smeared with war paint. Blood trickled from his right ear and the bridge of his nose. Momentarily deafened by cannon blasts, he didn’t know the shooting had stopped. He stared at the sunrise. His expression caught my eye. To me, it said terrified, exhausted and glad just to be alive. I recognised that look because that’s how I felt too. I raised my camera and snapped a few shots.

With the click of a shutter, Marine Lance Corporal James Blake Miller, a country boy from Kentucky, became an emblem of the war in Iraq. The image would change two lives – his and mine.

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