Friday, May 06, 2005

More on the picture

Long Island Newsday May 5, 2005

Infantryman's Wife Saw The Photo And Knew

By Andrew Metz, Staff Writer

On a day of carnage, it was an intimate image: a soldier clutching a child in his arms.

When Amy Bieger, mother of three boys, wife of an infantryman in Iraq, saw the picture on the Internet on Tuesday night, she stared at the little feet dangling in the nook of the man's arm, at the soldier's helmeted head pressed to the child's face. She stared and tears welled up.

"I said 'Oh my God, it is one of our soldiers,'" Bieger, 34, said yesterday from her home outside the Fort Lewis, Wash., Army post. "Then I stared at the [name] patch. I made out the rank and then the last four letters of the name and I knew it was my husband."

Amid an ongoing surge in violence in Iraq, Maj. Mark Bieger, the operations officer for the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, emerged Monday from the scene of double bombings in Mosul with a fatally wounded girl in his arms.

Freelance photographer Michael Yon caught the 35-year-old West Point graduate cradling the child, and in short order the anonymous tableau of compassion and violence was touching people around the country.

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