I spent two decades with those, like James Foley, who risked their lives to tell the stories of war and misery that afflicted the wretched of the earth. Like Foley, I was captured and taken prisoner, in my case in Iraq. Like Foley, I tasted the awful fear, anxiety and uncertainty that comes with daily wondering if you would be executed. Unlike Foley, I was freed. And I know from my own captivity the hell this has been for his family. War correspondents are a peculiar breed. They thrive off of risk and adrenaline. Their personal lives are often a train wreck. They don’t fit in outside of the chaotic and dangerous worlds they cover. They are brave and invariably funny. They have seen the worst of human nature and know the capacity we all have for human evil. The best of them care deeply for people whose names we often cannot pronounce and whose language is often incomprehensible. The fraternity that comprises war photographers and reporters is a bizarre one, and while I do not miss war, I miss the fraternity. Devoid of large egos—those who know they can get killed easily tend not to be prima donnas—there is a nobility about them despite their personal flaws, which they do not try to hide. They are immensely loyal in the face of danger—a quality hard to find outside that world. Foley, it appears, had all these qualities. He lived life. He risked a lot. He shunned conformity and routine. He was passionate. And that is saying a lot. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-y3 – Michael’s Blog