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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2009-12-28

Decade Collection: Chuck Liddy
'The shot was made in the Helmand Province, which is the most dangerous area of Afghanistan…'

By Chuck Liddy, The News & Observer

Photo by Chuck Liddy / The News & Observer

Photo by Chuck Liddy / The News & Observer

LCpl John Westwood gets instructions from a fellow Marine on the ground as he puts the finishing touches on the American flag he planted at the main gate of FOB Hassanbad in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.
Over 10 years, it's pretty hard to sort out a favorite photo but sometimes you make one that sticks with you. And one of the best things is when it is a recent photo.

It always makes me feel pretty good when someone asks, "what is your favorite photo?" and it's something I shot in the last month or two. That's the case with my choice.

My recently completed assignment in Afghanistan made for some pretty terrific photos that will stick with me forever. But when a young Marine at a remote Forward Operating Base was tasked with putting up an American flag at the front gate of the compound, I lucked out.

The sky was fantastic, the sun was in the perfect place, the wind was blowing and the kid's Gunnery Sergeant was yelling at him to unravel the flag causing him to look up. This photograph was made in the Helmand Province, which is the most dangerous area of Afghanistan and these young Marines were getting shot at everyday and living under pretty crummy conditions.

After it published I received a lot of emails, but the best was from Lance Corporal John Westwood's mom.


(Chuck Liddy is a staff photographer with the Raleigh News & Observer. You can see his member page here: http://www.sportsshooter.com/chuckliddy)

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