{"id":"36","title":"Why Am I A Marine?","description":"


They call this place Dashti Margo, or \u201cDesert of Death.\u201d\r\nThere\u2019s nothing here but sand and rock and endless baking horizon. If the\r\nhomemade bombs don\u2019t kill you, the heat will. This is Helmand province, the\r\nTaliban\u2019s heartland.<\/p>\r\nFor this project, I\r\nwant to gain an intimate window into the lives of this one platoon. I\u2019m hoping\r\nto capture something of these men\u2019s hopes and fears, their nationalism and\r\npride, the thrill and the terror, the impact of a never-ending war. I begin by\r\nasking each Marine to write down their answers to a simple question: \u201cWhy are\r\nyou a Marine?\u201d I leave my small notebook with them over many days so that each\r\nman will have time for reflection and to write something personal. I shoot a\r\nseries of candid Polaroid portraits of the Marines around the base, and give\r\neach of them a positive copy as a gesture of thanks.