August 31, 2003


Gregory S. Taylor’s father has composed a remarkable slideshow featuring Gregory’s brother Cpl. Brian Taylor and other Marines of Fox Company, 2nd BN, 23rd Marines, during the invasion of Iraq. Gregory writes: “Many are wonderful; some are heart-breaking. A few are graphic. They are all compelling.”

They sure are. This is a personal favourite. Following are Gregory’s notes to other images in the collection, taken from February 21 to May 29: 

• Brian's fire team. Brian is second from the left.

• Some Canadian they found.

• In their chemical-protective suits. (Brian on right).

• Brian's closest friend doing a procedure called selective de-masking. They were ordered to don their chemical-protective suits in preparation for an attack believed imminent. They can only wear the suits for so long -- one cannot eat in them (though one can drink). When they want to take them off, they "selectively de-mask": a volunteer breaks his seal while the rest watch from behind their masks to see if he dies.

• Brian's friends with the USMC flag with their Company motto (borrowed from Richard Marcinko) along the the flag's border: "Everybody has fun, nobody gets hurt."

• A few of those same Marines holding the flag a few days later, but now hurt.

• Brian sitting on the tailgate of a 7-ton truck. He told me he rode all the way to Baghdad from Kuwait on that tailgate and saw the whole bleeding country. His company is the only coalition infantry element of which he is aware that went in to battle without any armor.

• A Marine with a keen understanding of diplomacy

• Funeral service for Brian's friend Sgt. Cawley.

• Sgt. Cawley's battlefield monument

• Captured and corralled Fedayeen.

• This was the morning after they fought a four-hour firefight on this corner and slept on the roof there. During the fight, they were resupplied with ammunition and water several times but never had any artillery or air support (the circling F18s couldn't drop their munitions because the Marines were too close to their enemies). In this picture, Fox Co. is watching another company clear the compound where Fox Company's enemies were based the night before. They found no one living.

• This was taken by Brian during that firefight. The cars in the distance were filled with the corpses of would-be kamikazes.

• Brian at the end of that day. My favorite picture.

• Gives an idea of how they lived.

• Back at Camp Pendleton, me with Brian's son Keith on my shoulders, Brian's wife Shari with John and Jane.

• Brian holding his son  John for the first time.

Writes Gregory: “What a thing.” Absolutely.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 31, 2003 05:33 PM
Post a comment

How to post a link: <a href="">link word or phrase</a>. If it's to a file not a direct url: <a href="">link word or phrase</a>. (Notice, no forward slash after the "html.")

Remember personal info?