“A war correspondent’s reflection: If I don’t tell the story, who will?”

Everyone touched by war suffers.

Here is an article war correspondent’s story from The Pittsburgh Press-Gazette:

By Jackie Spinner

Coming Home PA is a project spearheaded by PublicSource, a local nonprofit investigative news group, with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other local media partners.

“We were an odd trio, sitting in a hipster lounge in Dupont Circle, last November, smoking flavored tobacco, sharing war stories, oblivious to the people around us.

“Joao Silva, a photographer, was still getting treatment in Washington, D.C., after stepping on a land mine in October 2010 in Afghanistan while on assignment for the New York Times. He lost both his legs. A year later, Joao was in shorts, even though it had been snowing earlier in the day, and the disco lights kept catching the metal of his prosthetic legs in a dancing twinkle that matched our mood.

“Bill Putnam, a multimedia journalist and former U.S. soldier, was on his way back to Afghanistan. Putnam has gone to war now as a soldier and civilian seven times since 1996. Once again, he was putting everything else aside to cover war.

“‘I literally don’t know anything else but this life,’ he said in a recent email from Afghanistan. ‘I don’t feel fulfilled back home.’

“Bill, Joao and I are part of a photography exhibit called Conflict Zone, a collection of images and video from the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Joao inspired the exhibit when he was injured, and we later dedicated it to our friend and colleague, Chris Hondros, a photographer who was killed in Libya a year ago.

“The show represents a language combat journalists and veterans speak, even if we have had different roles and missions on the battlefield. It’s a handshake that in one grip says more than we could ever share with our families and friends who weren’t there and who have a hard time understanding how we could miss that life.

“Bill and Joao were plotting that night to get Joao back to Afghanistan while Bill was there. I didn’t want to be left out.”

To continue reading this article, click here.

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