Monday, November 12, 2007

Veterans Day

Proving eagle eyed milton (now sadly absent) correct about my whiplash-inducing intellectual schizophrenia, I am going to post about an individual Iraq war casualty just days after pointing out that I never do that. This particular war casualty, however, is not about a loss of life. It's about a lost life.

Photo by Luis Sinco

I first saw the photo above on November 8, 2006. I know this because it struck me so viscerally when I saw it that I impulsively copied it to my hard drive. November 8, 2006 is the date on the file. The picture was associated with the battle of Fallujah and had appeared on the cover of the New York Post some two years earlier. "Smokin' " was the headline. "Marlboro men kick butt in Fallujah."

For those of us who tend to think of war in the abstract (and for those of us who prefer it that way), the rawness of this picture forces a necessary reckoning.

I found out today that the soldier -- James Blake Miller -- has a story that needs to be told. Take away from it whatever you will... it's also a story that needs to be heard.

His own words.

Luis Sinco's words (part 1 and part 2)

p.s. The LA Times online site requires viewers to register. It's free, takes about a minute, and doesn't lead to intolerable spamming (I've been registered for years without any resultant spam issues).


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