Thursday, February 02, 2006


Let's say you're a photographer who risks life and limb and a lifetime's investment in expensive equipment to follow American men to war, and capture in pictures and words the reality of their battlefield experience.

And let's say you come across a scene of brutal intensity and keep your wits sufficiently to snap a photograph that is instantly iconic, that rivals Matthew Brady's Gettysburg corpses or the flag-raising on Iwo Jima or MacArthur striding ashore in the Philippines -- but it's real, not re-staged.

And the U.S. military goes out and publishes it and sends it out on news wire services without so much as a credit to you, much less a penny in your pocket.

Let's say you're Michael Yon, who deserves better from the U.S. government.

Fortunately, he has friends.