Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'L.A. Times' Series Returns to Iraq's 'Marlboro Man'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'L.A. Times' Series Returns to Iraq's 'Marlboro Man'

Article excerpt

You probably recall the iconic photograph, published on the front page of several newspapers, and inside many magazines, early in the Iraq war: a weary, proud, American soldier with a dirty face, perhaps smeared with blood, helmet in place, a cigarette dangling from his lips. He was dubbed "The Marlboro Man," and eventually identified as Lance Cpl. Blake Miller and hailed.

But his story did not end there, or end happily. Miller survived Iraq, but what has happened since has not been pretty. Nearly two years ago, in January 2006, E&P interviewed the photographer who snapped that picture, Luis Sinco of the Los Angeles Times, who revealed that Miller had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and having trouble adjusting to normal life back home in Jonancy, Ky.

Now Sinco has returned to the American he knows he will be linked to forever.

A two-part article he wrote for the Times appeared Sunday and today, and the paper's Web site,, has put up a remarkable multimedia section that includes video, audio, photographs and more.

Among other things, it details how Sinco has repeatedly tried to help Miller cope with his demons. Here is a passage from the Sinco article which captures some of its content and tone.*

The local newspaper had been calling him about rumors that he was getting divorced. It was a major local story. Finally, he wrote a statement. He asked for compassion and respect for their privacy.

The next day, I found Miller in a back bedroom at his uncle's house. …

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