He Focuses On The Right Shot
By VICTOR REKLAITIS | Posted Monday, April 20, 2009 4:30 PM PT
Few photographers have to juggle a camera and an M-4 rifle.
But when Jeremy Lock faced that challenge during a shootout in Iraq, he knew what to do.
Lock, a combat photographer and Air Force master sergeant, had joined a patrol running traffic checkpoints in the Sunni Triangle.
The patrol through Ramadi, west of Baghdad, began to draw small-arms fire. A bullet hit one vehicle commander just four car lengths from Lock. The photographer says he realized he had to sprint toward the action and snap some photos.
"I remember looking up at my gunner in the Humvee and saying, 'I'm going to move out. Cover me,' " he told IBD. "I just ran down to where the action was happening and started documenting the first aid, as well as the firefight."
As soldiers prepared to evacuate the injured GI, Lock knew right there he had to drop his Nikon camera and grab an M-4. "As they're getting ready to lift him up, there's nobody there to provide security for them," he said. "So that's when it's time for me to stop being a cameraman and become a soldier. I just picked up the wounded soldier's weapon and provided security."
Lock's quick thinking and courage during that August 2006 patrol and other missions earned him a Bronze Star Medal in 2007. His other accolades include Military Photographer of the Year, a designation he's won four times.