Reuters photographer Finbarr O’Reilly recently spent a month with the U.S. First Battalion Eighth Marines in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province. While embedded at the remote Outpost Kunjak with the unit’s Third Platoon’s, Fourth Squad, O’Reilly documented camp life, patrols and combat operations, including one battle that saw four squad members suffer concussions from grenade explosions, including squad leader Sgt. Thomas James Brennan. This is Sgt. Brennan’s personal account of that day, and his reflections on what it is like living and fighting on the front lines of Afghanistan’s war.
I stumbled across the Yoga For Vets, NYC website while doing some research for another story. The tag line on their site says, “Taught by a veteran, for veterans, Yoga for Vets NYC is FREE for all veterans, family, and providers.” I kept clicking. The site went on to talk about how the program offered both yoga and meditation classes. It said the classes were designed specifically for veterans dealing with injuries or trauma. The program was started by Anu Bhagwati, a former Marine who found that yoga had helped her with aspects of service-related injuries that the VA Hospital could not. It all sounded pretty amazing. I emailed Anu asking if I could come by and photograph her class, then crossed my fingers.
I met Dan Roth in conjunction with a story being written by Reuters’ Toni Clark. Toni’s story was about a new kind of artificial heart, the LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device), which is implanted inside a patient’s chest. It is powered by external, rechargeable batteries connected to a cable coming out of the patient’s side, and pumps blood through the circulatory system on a continuous basis, taking over most of the heart’s work.
“I teared up…and didn’t cry again for 40 years.”
–Combat veteran Bob Ness after a close friend died next to him in Vietnam.
It was one early March morning in 2007 while on my way to shoot an assignment in the Portuguese Language Museum that I found myself amidst a mass of people consuming crack in the heart of Sao Paulo. I had stumbled onto Cracolândia, or Crackland, and the party was one of the living dead. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people openly consuming the drug at such an early hour, oblivious to the flow of pedestrians heading to work in this megalopolis.