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Photographer on the Marines in Fallujah

Remember the photos of Marines being baptized in a courtyard in Fallujah?

Tim Curlee of the Beacon Blog has received an email from the photographer, Rick Loomis, who followed those valiant Marines through Fallujah. It's simply incredible:

...In the next room a Marine fired his machine gun from the second story window. I was watching the seriousness on his face as he fought the onslaught. At that moment a flash of fiery orange enveloped the room. An RPG had scored a direct hit at head level of the Marine I was photographing. So sudden and violent it was, I only have a blurry frame to serve as a reminder. Only the wall of the home saved him from certain death. He was shocked however, screaming as he was knocked to the ground, stunned from the concussion and deafening roar of the grenade.

He took only a moment to regain composure and assess his emotions. He was clearly pissed. He stood back in the window and began firing with more determination than before. It wasn't long until another RPG crashed into the same position. Insurgent forces were well aware of the Marine's position and were determined to score a kill. The barrels of two M-240 machine guns became so hot from the rapid succession of fire that they melted and seized.

On the roof, another battle was raging. Marines on the roof were in such close contact with the insurgents that the two were lobbing hand grenades back and forth. Shrapnel was shooting all over the roof tearing into Marines fighting there. At least one pickup truck full of 15 to 20 fighters was seen heading into the fight...

Go and read the whole post. It's well worth your time.