'Restrepo' Partner: War Photographer Tim Hetherington Never Thought Himself Brave
War photographer killed in deadly attack in Misrata, Libya.
April 20, 2011 — -- Veteran war photographer Tim Hetherington, who was killed by a rocket attack in Misrata, Libya, today never considered himself brave, despite operating for years in some of the world's most deadly regions, close friend and war zone colleague Sebastian Junger said.
"He worked in a world where people risked their lives and died regularly, so I don't even think it crossed his mind that he was brave," Junger, co-director with Hetherington on the Academy Award-nominated war documentary "Restrepo," told ABC News just hours after news of Hetherington's death emerged. "But he was an image maker and he was dedicated to that calling... It was just something he felt had to be done by somebody, and he knew he was good at it, he was really good at it."
Hetherington and Junger spent 15 months on and off in 2007 and 2008 with a U.S. Army unit in the most dangerous valley in Afghanistan, hoping to document daily, deadly life on the front lines. The images and stories they returned with earned several awards and the Academy Award nomination. But according to Junger, Hetherington was in it for the job.
"He loved his work. And he loved his subjects. And for him working wasn't just about collecting images. It really was a way of existing in the world – a way of relating to people, a way of understanding the world and maybe improving it," he said.
U.S. Army Major Dan Kearney, who was prominently featured in Hetherington and Junger's Afghanistan coverage, said that in his time with the troops, Hetherington became family.
"Tim wasn't just a friend," an emotional Kearney told ABC News after learning of Hethering's death. "He was a brother to me."
Junger said that although Hetherington sometimes showed the stress of battle, he also showed incredible strength.
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.
"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.
A second photographer, Chris Hondros of Getty Images, died of wounds sustained in Misrata today as well. Two others were also wounded during the attack in Misrata Wednesday but survived. Guy Martin of Panos News Agency was gravely wounded, while photographer Michael Brown was less severely wounded.
ABC News' Martha Raddatz contributed to this report.