Death of a Marine

Death of a Marine

A photojournalist embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan documents an ambush in which an American soldier is mortally wounded. (AP)

This is a behind-the-scenes audio slideshow, narrated by the Associated Press photojournalist who captured a controversial image of a dying soldier. We see what happened before and after.

AP photographer Julie Jacobson was with the Marines on patrol in southern Afghanistan when they ran into an ambush. During the battle that followed, Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard, 21, of New Portland, Me., was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade and gravely wounded. The young soldier lost one of his legs in the attack and later died while in surgery at a Marine compound.

In the midst of the firefight herself, Jacobson photographed the battle, including images of the dying Marine as he was assisted by his companions. As she recalled in a journal entry after the attack, Jacobson knew the images would probably never be published but she also believed that it was her job to record history and the events of the war – mundane and horrific alike.

This controversial audio slideshow was published after much internal debate at the Associated Press. The controversy focused on one image of the soldier shown shortly after being wounded in the attack. The AP released the photograph over the objections of the young man’s family and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. Some papers chose not to publish the image while others (including the Washington Post) published the slideshow but omitted the offending image.

Warning: This audio slideshow contains graphic content and includes an image of a mortally wounded soldier.

CHANNEL: Associated Press

Length: 5:32

Photography and audio by Julie Jacobson