Posts tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Afghanistan Through the Lens of Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry went to Afghanistan for the first time in 1979. Now, 38 years later, McCurry ’74 is releasing a new book highlighting some of his photography from the country.

Afghanistan comes out later this month, and features more than 140 images from McCurry’s time spent abroad. His work regarding Afghanistan and its people has made headlines—the most notable example, 1984’s Afghan Girlwas deemed “arguably the most iconic picture of all time” by CNN in 2016.

You can pre-order a copy of the book right here, and head to The Guardian to check out some of McCurry’s work in Afghanistan.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

August 8, 2017 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment

A Penn Stater, Sam Griffith, Killed in Afghanistan

Samuel_Griffith One of my Alumni Association colleagues forwarded to me an email the other day with some sad news: A 36-year-old Penn State grad, Maj. Sam Griffith ’97, has been killed in Afghanistan.

Griffith, a Marine fighter pilot by training who was serving a tour of duty with the reserves, was shot and killed last Wednesday, Dec. 14, in Helmand province. He was part of the Marine Corps Reserves’ 4th Air/Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, out of West Palm Beach, Fla.

The email notifying us of Griffith’s death came from Dave Schlosser ’97, president of our L.A. chapter, who knew Griffith from their Penn State days. Back then, Schlosser was dating someone who lived near Griffith’s hometown in the Raleigh, N.C., area, so when Griffith would go back home for a weekend, Schlosser would catch a ride with him.

“We would make the trip together in his beautifully restored 1960s Ford Mustang, leaving mid-afternoon Friday for the nine-hour drive and returning Sunday night,” Schlosser wrote. “I met him through the ride board at the HUB, and although many might think it strange to hop in a car with a total stranger, we quickly realized we had much in common (like both being Eagle Scouts), and it made the long drives go by quick.”

Griffith, whose funeral takes place today in Virginia Beach, becomes the seventh Penn Stater to die in Afghanistan or Iraq; the complete list is here.

Griffith was 36 and leaves behind a wife, Cassandra Warnock Griffith ’99, whom he met at Penn State, and two young boys. You can read news coverage of Griffth’s death here, here, and here, with the latter story offering a particularly heartbreaking detail: “The family says his 7-year-old son wrote Griffith a letter asking him not to go on this tour, saying he’d be furious if he was killed in action.”

Tina Hay, editor

December 19, 2011 at 8:56 am 2 comments

The Art of War

The New York Times is featuring excerpts from combat artist Michael D. Fay’s blogs this week, as part of their Home Fires series. (The series publishes the writings of men and women who have returned home from military service.) Fay ’82 A&A, who retired from the military in December, has been blogging since Sept. 2005, and though he’s a pencils-and-paper artist by trade, he also paints the wartime scenery with his words:

Everywhere amongst the chaos were vaguely reassuring hints of normalcy. One almost expected to turn a corner and find a pick-your-own pumpkin patch and a warm mug of spiced cider. That is, until another round of gunfire, an explosion, or a frantic stream of radio traffic shattered the reverie.

We profiled Fay in the Nov./Dec. 2005 issue of The Penn Stater (you can read the profile here), explaining how he happened upon his field. Fay is currently working in Afghanistan as a military correspondent, so he’ll have plenty of chances to continue writing about war. He’s also working on a memoir. For now, you can read The New York Times series by starting with Part 1 here.

Amy Guyer, associate editor

June 10, 2010 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

New Book Honors Michael Murphy

The other day we received a new book called Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN, by Gary Williams.

You may remember Murphy ’98 Lib as the Navy SEAL who died in Afghanistan in 2005 and who, two years later, received the Medal of Honor posthumously. We ran a feature story on Lt. Murphy in our January-February 2008 issue—that’s the opening spread you see below, and you can click here to download a PDF of our article.

Murphy was just 29 when he died during a mission intended to capture a Taliban leader. After he and the three members of his team were surrounded, he exposed himself to enemy fire to make the cell-phone call for help. The mission resulted in the worst loss of life in the SEAL program since it began in 1962—11 of the 12 SEALs involved died. Though others on the mission were honored with a Navy Cross (all posthumously, except for the lone survivor), Murphy was the only man on that mission to receive the Medal of Honor.

Seal of Honor hit bookstores May 5. The author, Gary Williams, has no apparent connection to Lt. Murphy or the Navy SEALS; he’s just a guy in Ohio who was “reared with a near-reverent respect for those who wear our country’s uniform,” according to his author bio. This is his third book.

Amy Guyer, associate editor

May 14, 2010 at 8:34 am 1 comment

Another Tribute to Bill Cahir

Yesterday’s Washington Post contains this lovely, touching account of Monday’s funeral for Bill Cahir ’90 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Tina Hay, editor

September 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm Leave a comment

More on Bill Cahir

cahir_back_iraqBill Cahir ’90, who was killed Aug. 13 in Afghanistan, was buried yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Washington Post had a story yesterday and the Centre Daily Times has one today. In addition, you can hear an NPR piece on him here and see NBC’s Brian Williams pay tribute to him here. I was especially moved by the grief on the faces of his family in the NBC video; my heart just aches for them.

Anyone interested in making a memorial contribution can visit the Web site of the Bill Cahir Memorial Fund.

Tina Hay, editor

September 1, 2009 at 9:22 am Leave a comment

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