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The Marlboro Marine video

By Luis Sinco

The young marine lighted 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 recognized 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 Cpl. James Blake Miller, a country boy from Kentucky, became an emblem of the war in Iraq. The resulting image would change two lives — his and mine

Read the full story.


  1. August 10, 2010, 12:39 am

    Incredibly well told story. Thank you Luis, for bringing war out of the headlines and making it real . Thank you for being real, and reaching to out over the other side of that lens, and letting James Blake know that his life was valuable–even when he couldn't see that. Thank you James Blake for having the guts to live through your pain, and share that pain with others. You are right, there is no reason that you lived, when others didn't. One day you will realize there are thousands of reasons that you lived, thousands and thousands of reasons….

  2. March 9, 2011, 5:39 pm

    […] haven’t been to this part of the world for almost seven years, ever since I witnessed the horror and carnage of a place called Fallouja. Two days ago, I photographed a blood-splattered pickup truck, which was […]

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