Story behind the snap

November 18, 2007

Photographer Luis Sinco tells the story of the image he took of Marine Lance Corporal James Blake Miller as the soldier’s regiment entered Falluja on 8 November 2004,

On the second day of the battle, I called my wife by satellite phone to tell her that I was OK. She told me my photo had ended up on the front page of more than 150 newspapers. Dan Rather had gushed over it on the evening news. Friends and family had called her to say they had seen the photo – my photo.
Soon, my editors called and asked me to find the ‘Marlboro Marine’ for a follow-up story. Who was this brave young hero? Women wanted to marry him. Mothers wanted to know whether he was their son. I didn’t even know his name. Shellshocked and exhausted, I had simply identified Miller as ‘a Marine’ and clicked ‘send’. link