Strength & Honor

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RJ DelVecchio

Selected Excerpts

One Bad Day
R.J. Del Vecchio (US Marine grunt photographer)

". . . We heard a chopper above us trying to lower a jungle penetrator through the canopy for the man with the chest wounds. A Corpsman looked up, again and again, hopefully, waiting to see the metal frame break through the heavy vegetation above us.

It never did, and the chopper could be heard leaving. The wounded man's chest stopped moving, and the exhausted men working on him slumped to the ground. I turned, and Jones came around the path once more, with another body. He collapsed again, cried again, and finally lifted his head and said there was one more out there.

He seemed to be having trouble getting himself ready to go again, and I put the camera down, picked up the Greasegun, and went to him. There was no conscious decision to help him, I simply could not let him go out again by himself. When I got up with him, two of the Marines who'd been watching the path with their M-16s leveled looked at me, then at each other, then got up to go with us. . . ."

Photo courtesy of RJ DelVecchio
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