Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Ordering" a General about and Ignoring Another

I swear, put a camera in my hands and I become fearless.

I didn't like the picture so...

"General, General! One more."

It wasn't really "Ordering" it was more like a very insistent request. In all honesty, General Mattis could have told me to 'shove off' if he didn't want another photo taken, a do-over shot, with the soldier. I don't think General Mattis is like that. I'm sure he could be to a really annoying photographer. Which I hope I wasn't.

I showed both photos to the young man and explained why I insisted upon the second photo, the one I posted below.


The wounded warrior explained that in the first photo the General asked him for his "Warrior" face. I explained to the young man that he looked much better smiling.

After I had taken the second shot, another man next to me said, "You know that other gentleman is General Myer's former Joint Chief?"

EEEK! They don't wear rank on tuxedo jackets. Retirement from military life has done well by General Myers. I didn't recognize him.


Heck there were other people there that had I recognized them would have been quite interesting to talk to, including a gentleman who as a young Navy pilot, had spent 7 years in the Hanoi Hilton. I didn't even catch his name.

Last night, I attended an event put on by Families of the Wounded. This organization raises funds to help support the families of wounded warriors so they can be near their loved one during recovery. I should have grabbed a program so that I could tell you everyone's names, but I didn't. (and I wonder why I didn't make it as a journalist?)

It was a really neat event observe. For me, the goose bump moment was when everyone in Leatherneck gallery sang "God Bless America".

I really enjoy photographing General Mattis. He's such a personable man. I can tell why people are drawn to him and his Marines like him so much.


From a photographer's perspective, he maintains an "open posture". Its like he positions himself in a group so that a photographer can take a candid photo of him chatting with everyone and you can see everyone's faces, or a part of their face.


He is just so good about working the crowd too. He's comfortable with having his picture taken.

I need help from my docent friends identifying some of the people (like below). The man on the left is a retired Marine Corps General, he led the singing of the National Anthem and God Bless America. He and General Mattis are old buddies and General Mattis asked me to take this picture.


General Mattis with the two wounded warriors honored at the event and the President of the Wounded Warrior Fund.


General Mattis was the keynote speaker. It was a very serious speech about the need to provide for the care of not just the wounded warriors but their families. I did videotape the speech but have not reviewed it. If it the lighting and sound are o.k., I'll post later in the week.


One of the soldiers honored. The woman standing next to him is his mother who has been with him through every step of the recovery process. He had grave arm and leg wounds due to an IED.


The other young man honored is below, his father is to his left. This young man was also injured by an IED.


1 comment:

Samantha West said...

Great photos and thank you for sharing. I'm pretty sure the unidentified General is Major General Arnold Fields USMC(ret).