17 November 2007

The Cost of War

Marine Lance Corporal James Blake Miller,
Fallujah, Iraq, November 2004.
Photograph © Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times

This story, penned by photojournalist Luis Sinco for The L.A. Times, is really quite remarkable in its portrayal of the cost to Miller of his tour in Iraq and the impact the photograph has had on Sinco's life as well. Sinco was embedded with Miller's unit in Iraq and snapped the photograph shown here during fighting in Falluja. Miller returned from Iraq to PTSD and Sinco to acclaim (e.g., this story on npr which links to more of Sinco's work).

I admire both men. Sinco's reflections have been picked up by The Guardian with a different title ~ "Am I to Blame for His Private War?" The answer to that is quite straightforward. No. Bush and his minions are to blame for Miller's predicament and that of many, many other vets returning as physical or psychological casualties as well as the thousands who've not returned and never will. The shame is that those others may lack the sort of kindness and friendship Sinco tries to provide to Miller.

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