|© Ricardo Garcia Vilanova for the Wall Street Journal|
Members of the the 2nd Platoon Company, Charlie Company, 2/508 PIR, 4BCT Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division were injured after two mines exploded in Afghanistan’s Arghanab Valley. Pfc. Jorge Rostra Obando, shown above, was stunned by the explosion. While he was handed a cigarette, Obando requested that Staff Sgt. Edward Rosa read Psalm 91 from the Bible, the passage that his mother used to read during his childhood. See more of Ricardo’s work from Afghanistan on his blog and website.
WARNING: graphic depictions of battle scenes and casualties to follow.
Note from the photographer:
The images were taken with the consent of the unit, viewed and approved by the commanding officer. I was as respectful as possible, avoiding sensationalism. I did not take pictures of open wounds or the man who passed away. One soldier was in a condition where it was not the right time to ask permission, so following the rules of casualties proposed by the media officers, his face is not shown. Regarding the rest of them, I was given explicit permission. One of them even asked me to take the pictures. My only intention is to show just how hard reality is and what is going on in Arghandab Valley. I did not get there with Medevacs. I was part of the patrol at the time the bombs exploded.
Pfc Stegich, SSG Rosa and an Afghan policeman on high alert just a few seconds after the explosion detonated a short distance from where they stood.
The SSG Maher and PFC Rae attend to injured soldiers a few moments after the explosion.
PFC Rae and Lt Farrington attend PV2 Vasquez moments after the explosion, before being evacuated by Medevacs. SGT Knollinger stands in the background.
SSG Craumer (in the right of the photo) and another unidentified casualty, injured soldier, with SSG Maher and PFC Rae assisting. They are surrounded by red smoke used to help orient medical evacuation helicopters.
SSG Maher holds the hand of an unidentified soldier, while other soldiers attending the SSG Craumer.
SSG Maher, SPC Churchill, SGT Knollinger and SFC Cartwright carry SSG Craumer on a stretcher to the helicopter.