Thursday, April 14, 2011
Luis Sinco and The Other Marlboro Man
Posted by Jay at 8:10 AM
Picking up from the subject of the Marlboro Man from the previous post, today's story features the image of the other Marlboro Man, sometimes known as the Marlboro Marine.
Taken during the November 2004 battle in Fallujah, Iraq and published in over 150 newspapers in the same month, the photograph above shows Marine Lance Corporal James Blake Miller, tired and bloodied, a newly lit cigarette in his mouth, gazing away from the camera.
The striking photo was taken by photojournalist Luis Sinco who was embedded with Miller's Regiment at that time. They had just secured a house after a long night of intense fire, and Sinco caught Miller momentarily resting against the wall just as the sunrise was peeking over the horizon.
During its initial publication, Miller was showered with praise during his time in Iraq. Today however, it is a sad reminder of the extended and complicated involvement of foreign nations in Iraqi and Afghanistan, and of post traumatic stress disorder.
After being medically discharged after an outburst caused by his condition, Miller had the chance to go to Washington to share his distressing experiences with some US representatives. Amazingly, none of the congressmen were inclined to involve themselves in this cause. As Miller put it, "it was a slap in the face" to find so many elected leaders bearing a polite but apathetic view towards veterans in need of PTSD help.
Miller is now separated from his wife and family, and lives alone.
You can find out more about the Marlboro Marine by reading this Los Angeles Times article or viewing this mini-documentary hosted by Media Storm.