Monday, April 25, 2011

War Photographers Killed in Libya

Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington
   Last week two well know, awarded and recognized War Photographers were killed covering the war in Libya.  The work of both of these men has received numerous awards and their unique ability to capture events on film was remarkable.  While many may not know the names of those who have taken the picture, or filmed an event, most everyone  knows the work without knowing the names of those who captured it.  

    The 40-year old Tim Hetherington was most recently known for his Academy Award Nominated work as the camera guy and Director of Restrepo, an Afghanistan war documentary, which by the way, should have won the Oscar and was robbed at the Oscars by a political movie (My Opinion).  Hetherington has traveled the world covering conflicts, and most recently, Libya.  The video below is a short excerpt from Restrepo, and it may not mean as much to you if you haven’t watched the movie, but it’s a very moving and worthwhile movie to watch.     

    The other War Photographer was 41-year old Chris Hondros, Pulitzer Prize-nominated phtotojournalist.  Hondros has covered most of the world's major conflicts since the late 1990s, including wars in Kosovo, Angola, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Kashmir, the West Bank, Iraq, and Liberia.  His work has appeared on the covers of magazines such as Newsweek and The Economist, and on the front pages of most major American newspapers, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. 

     Hondros has received dozens of awards, including multiple honors from World Press Photo in Amsterdam, the International Pictures of the Year Competition, the Visa Pour L'Image in France, and the John Faber award from the Overseas Press Club.   In 2004 Hondros was a Nominated Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography for his work in Liberia, and in 2006 he won the Robert Capa Gold Medal, war photography's highest honor, for his work in Iraq.  He's also been named a 2007 "Hero of Photography" by American Photo magazine, and was a 2008 National Magazine Award finalist. More on Hondro can be found at this link:
his website

More on entire story can be found at this ABC News link:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Remembering Colonel “Nick” Rowe

Assassinated on April 21st 1989

    It was 22 years ago this week (21 April, 1989) when Colonel James Nicholas Rowe was assassinated in the Philippines.

    Colonel Rowe, known as “Nick,” was a graduate of the West Point Class of 1960 and in 1963 he was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam as a Detachment Executive Officer. On October 29, 1963, then First Lieutenant Rowe was captured and became a Prisoner of War for 62 months, over five years, before making his escape on December 31st 1968.  

    In 1971 Colonel Rowe authored a book “Five Years To Freedom” about his time in captivity and in 1974 he retired from the Army. Colonel Rowe was recalled to active duty in 1981 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel for the purpose of designing a SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) course for the Army Special Forces. 

    In 1987 Colonel Rowe was assigned as the chief of the Army division of the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG) in the Philippines and took an active involvement in the intelligence and counter-insurgency operations against communist based groups threatening to overthrow the Philippine government.  By early 1989 it was learned by Colonel Rowe and the intelligence community that communist insurgents were planning an assassination of one of three high profile figures in the Philippines, Colonel Rowe himself being one of the targets. 

    On the morning of April 21st 1989, the communist insurgents carried out their threat and assassinated Colonel Rowe while he was being driven to work.

The complete Bio on Colonel Rowe can be viewed at these links:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Welcome Home Donald Shue

Soldier's Remains Identified, Returning Home After 41 Years
On November 3rd 1969 Sergeant First Class Donald Shue, assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group, was part of a reconnaissance patrol that was on a mission some 30 miles inside Laos.  The patrol was attacked and overrun by enemy forces on a remote hilltop.  The reconnaissance team retreated, however Shue and two others were injured in the attack and presumed killed. Donald Shue has been listed as "Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered" since the attack. 
SFC Donald Shue's name on the Vietnam Memoria
Forty years later a local farmer found human remains near the hilltop and notified the Vietnamese government.  Although the hilltop was technically located in Laos, border realignments now place the hilltop in Vietnam's Quang Tri Provenance.  A joint U.S.-Vietnamese team excavated the hilltop, recovering the remains of Donald M. Shue, Staff Sergeant Gunther H. of New Jersey and Staff Sergeant William T. Brown of California.  Along with Shue's remains, his Zippo lighter with his name engraved on it was also found.

Donald Shue was from Kannapolis North Carolina and will be buried with his parents and brothers in Concord, NC on May 1st.  The Rolling Thunder motorcycle group will participate in escorting family and the procession.  

Some forty years later our nation and its citizens express sincere gratitude for the sacrifice of Donald Shue, and closure has finally come for family and friends. 

It is a sad irony that Donald Shue had to wait over 40 years to receive an earned and deserved welcome home.  His return home is in a way, a symbolic representation for all of the Vietnam fallen who have previously returned home, but without the gratitude and thankfulness of the citizens of the nation.  

While Donald Shue gave the ultimate sacrifice forty years ago, his return home today has served as a reminder for some, an education for others, of how our military serve not only today, but yesterday and tomorrow, and that they should not be forgotten, regardless of when the service and sacrifice was performed.

Links to story:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Burmese Humanitarian Worker Killed

Forgotten Insurgency
Hidden away in Southeast Asia the people of Burma participate in an over 50 year old insurgency against the Military Dictatorship of Burma.  While events throughout the world demands our attention, events in Burma have seemed to fade away into obscurity, despite the presence of an insurgent Army fighting a gruella war, and the presence of organized groups of humanitarians, one called the Free Burma Rangers. 

The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma. Ethnic pro-democracy groups send teams to FBR to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency medical care, shelter, food, clothing and human rights documentation. The teams also operate a communication and information network inside Burma that provides real time information from areas under attack

The below FBR Report was issued today and gives a report on the death of one of the Team Members.  For additional information on the activities of the Free Burma Rangers check their link.

FBR REPORT: FBR Karenni Team Member Dies
Karen State, Burma
8 April, 2011

On 2 April 2011, KNPP FBR Karenni team member Khu Neh Reh died of wounds sustained from a landmine explosion. Neh Reh had been treating patients at Tee Lon village just prior to the explosion. The mine had been found by security and brought back for further inspection when it unexpectedly detonated. Two Karenni Army (KA of the KNPP -Karenni pro-democracy resistance) soldiers were killed immediately, while Neh Reh died of his wounds the next day. 
Neh Reh was trained by FBR in 2006 as a video camera man and later also received medical training. He died while serving his people in the front lines of Karenni State, Burma. We love him and will miss him, and pray for his family and his team. At the same time, we are inspired by his life; we trust that God holds all things most precious in His eternal hands, and believe that Neh Reh's sacrifice, and the love he showed his people, is not in vain. Please pray with us, for Neh Reh, his family, and his team - and for all of us, that we might be led by the same love that conquers fear, and that is eternal. We extend our love and sorrow to Neh Reh's family and to the KNPP and are grateful for the honor that we had in knowing and working with him. 

Neh Reh gave his life for freedom and for love. 

We are reminded of Jesus' words, "Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends."
May God bless you all,
David Eubank
The Free Burma Rangers
The Free Burma Rangers’ (FBR) mission is to provide hope, help and love to internally displaced people inside Burma, regardless of ethnicity or religion. Using a network of indigenous field teams, FBR reports on human rights abuses, casualties and the humanitarian needs of people who are under the oppression of the Burma Army. FBR provides medical, spiritual and educational resources for IDP communities as they struggle to survive Burmese military attacks.
For more information, please visit