'Restrepo' Partner: War Photographer Tim Hetherington Never Thought Himself Brave


Hunted By The Taliban

On one mission, Battle Company got word that the Taliban was tracking them as they pulled back to their base.

In a 2007 interview with ABC News, Hetherington said, "It was a sense that we were now going to be hunted. I think we were hunting and being hunted and that was not a great feeling."

There was chaos that day as the shooting began, and the adrenaline flowed, but Hetherington kept rolling on the soldiers, steady as always.

Hetherington filmed one of the soldiers as he described the feeling: "I'm the wrong one to play with," the soldier said. "I just miss the firefights, it's been awhile for me. I'm like a little kid right now. It's just a good time. This is what we get paid to do right here."

But then came word that the advance scouts had been hit. Under fire, the men, Hetherington right with them, rushed to the scene.

"And we ran up to the ridge expecting there to be fighting," recalled Hetherington, "and instead we came across the scene of the scouts and of part of the second platoon that had suffered casualties."

There was a grim discovery involving a company leader, Sergeant Larry Rougle.

"I saw that Sgt. Rougle had been shot," Hetherington said. "And I saw there was just pandemonium. It really was an awful sight, it was a really hard sight to digest. Where men are just in such a state of shock, I think I was in a state of shock too."

The men were distraught, and as close as he was to them, he did not hesitate to do his job as a journalist while the platoon lieutenant got his men back into the battle.

"I was really amazed by the maturity and that he was to just grab this guy and the guy suddenly just came back to life," said Hetherington. "In that way, he was suddenly alert and ordering people around. Somebody so in the grip and suddenly snapped together."

There was no time to grieve, added Hetheringon, "because suddenly it was like the combat was back on."

Follow BrianRoss on Twitter

Hetherington chose to stay with Battle Company as made their way back to the base that night. When he broke his ankle coming down a steep mountain, forced to walk in on it.

Follow ABCNewsBlotter on Facebook

"I walked down on my hands and knees at times. I was more afraid of holding up the soldiers and making them in a position where we were on the side of the slope during day break and we were exposed. You know the last thing I wanted was to be in a firefight with a broken foot," he said.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...