As a former Combat Cameraman seeing footage from our growing number of war zones hits me on multiple sides. I can see well beyond the propaganda and both understand the situation from both the war fighter and concerned civilian perspectives. When I first joined my Combat Camera Unit I quickly realized I had much to live up to. My fellow teammates and I were the 'technical descendants' of Director John Ford among a host of famous filmmakers and photographers down through the decades.
Though I suspected it beforehand, I found that ours was a unique profession. We were warriors, but our job was 'Telling the Story of War'. I remember talking with some young Marines on a mission and they couldn't understand why I carried a camera instead of a rifle. My answer was, "I carry a rifle too, but if you see me change out my camera for the weapon we're in trouble!"
I passed on the 'torch' years ago and now a new generation is doing what I did by taking the latest technical innovations into the field to tell today's war stories. Shot with the Canon 5DMkII The video "Why We Fight" by Army Specialist Matt Freire and 1st Lieutenant Tyler Ginter gives us the story of one unit of the Afgan Special Forces from their point of view.