Michael's Dispatches

Little Girl Revisited



02 May 2012

This image was made seven years ago today.   There had been a great deal of combat.  It’s been said that the “Deuce Four” was the most decorated unit in the Iraq war.  I do not know if this is true, but if not, it is probably close.

There had been a suicide car bomb that attacked in a civilian neighborhood.   The Soldiers did their best to help the people.  Little Farah, seen here, cradled by Major Mark Bieger, would soon die of her wounds.

As the months unfolded, fighting remained intense and many Soldiers in the Deuce Four would be wounded or killed.

On the home front, some veterans went off to school and got degrees, or in some other way kept living their lives.  Others took routes that we so often hear about.  Substance abuse, trouble with the law, broken families.

The years unfolded, and many returned to Iraq for more combat tours.  They kept fighting and more were killed and injured.  Others went off to Afghanistan.  I would meet many of them in combat in the following years in Iraq or Afghanistan, and there they always shined.

This image seems like it was made just yesterday, and like a million lifetimes ago.  Without the photo, this day was just one of countless others that would rip across the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Bangkok.  The day Farah died was average for Iraq.   Terrible?  Yes.  Unique?  Others were far worse.  Only the camera made this day unique.

Please read: LITTLE GIRL

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Deidre · 8 years ago
    Thank you, Michael for this most poignant photo. Little Farah is with God. Unlike the men who killed her. They will forever be in hell with their Father of Lies.
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    Frank · 8 years ago
    Great reporting! You have done an outstanding job over the years. My only issue is lost of American soldiers all for what? These wars have geen great for technology and all the US Military vendors. Now we sign a ten year agreement with Afganistan and President Scumbag Karzai. Again we are suckers! Come home where you will do this country some good.
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    Ray Riehle · 8 years ago
    Dear Michael,
    I have a copy of this picture in the entry hallway of my house. Every day it reminds me of the courage of the men and women who serve and the reason we need to be true to what is right and just. Thank you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Elaine · 8 years ago
    Oooo, that poor baby. That precious man shall never forget this.
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    karen · 8 years ago
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    robin yates · 8 years ago
    the futility of it all.Another country damaged by the US military machine, and for what?
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      a&n · 8 years ago
      We did not start these wars. I don't suppose you remember the women and children raped and murdered by these deginerates we fight in the case of Iraq and 9/11 for Afghanistan. No...of course you don't. You are an American hater. Why don't you go post your comments on some of our enemies blogs where you belong.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      ironargonaut · 8 years ago
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    a&n · 8 years ago
    The big poster of Little Girl and Major Bieger still hangs in the entry to our home. It has that honored place wherever we roam. And Mike Yon and the soldiers of the Deuce Four will always remain in our hearts and in our prayers. Sometimes it does seem like a million years ago...sometimes like yesterday. The years of war since then remain the same...pure hell. The faces change...we make new friends... and lose some of them to the ugly enemies of our souls. Our thoughts are seldom far from our magnificent fighting men...protectors of our Constitution and of ourselves...along with the brave men who record the history of these times, write books about it.. you and a handful of others.
    But Little Girl and Major Bieger will always hold that special place of honor in the entry of our house and hearts. Thanks Mike... for recording that day for all to read about, remember... and learn.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tamminator · 8 years ago
    And yet, the leftists screamed in anger about war when Bush was in office.
    Today, they could give two shits unless it involves a photo op.

    Sickening. God Bless The men and women of this country who sacrifice for us all.
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    a&n · 8 years ago
    Be interesting to see what you think of the campaign speech by Obama in Afghanistan on the first.
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    Peter · 8 years ago
    I remember how you travailed about going to Iraq. This is one of those lynch-pin moments in life, that would not have been otherwise. Your service is much appreciated, and will be greatly remembered, if not always honored!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    KK · 8 years ago
    Thank you for the reminder, your reporting and amazing photographs. In 2005 I was touched and inspired to paint a 36x71 depiction of Farah and Major Bieger. Perhaps you would like to have this painting, sell it and use the proceeds for your continued support of our troops. A photograph awaits you in Winter Haven. Thank you, again, for everything.
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    Rebecca · 8 years ago
    This picture always breaks my heart, for that dear girl, but even more so for Major Bieger. He is obviously a man of compassion, and I believe that he must still, to some degree, carry Farah with him, and that he always will. I hope she is not a heavy burden for him, and that he is well and happy.
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    Greg · 8 years ago
    ...my daughter was born.

    I can't help but look at this image and think about how nothing could justify taking a life like that. No ideology. No faith. Nothing is worth that.
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    Kat · 8 years ago
    Mike, this tore my heart apart to see your photo seven years ago, knowing that little Farah did not make it, yet I was grateful Mark made her last moments more bearable and she was not alone. This photograph is quite a juxtaposition. It still brings tears to my eyes today.
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    BobbyG · 8 years ago
    I remember that day like yesterday as well. I have moved on for now, thank God, but there is nothing that will ever heal the mind from the scars of war. Keep up the good fight. Bobby G (HHC 1SG 1-24) CSM(R) RLTW!
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    JPM · 8 years ago
    I remember when this was published. It crystalized my resolve to finish the mission in Iraq.
    A tear always comes to my eye when I see this image. No amount of BS about how we're "Crusaders" trying to take their land, oppose their religion, or control their governments can shake my resolve about how America entered this conflict for the right reasons to stop evil killers.
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    Heath · 8 years ago
    Suicide bombings are a failed operation in every respect. Just like the airplane murders on Sept 11th, 2001. Suicide bombings or more accurately homicide bombings will only backfire in evil people's faces who thinks up these sickening and vile things. Cutting people's heads off is never going to be normal neither are homicide bombings normal. You saw what happened to Osama Bin Laden. Do not be like that man.
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    Heath · 8 years ago
    These children are innocent and they should not be near any bombs period. The children should be in school and the adults should be able to vote in ballots in a civilized and peaceful way. Not with bombs or bullets or cutting people's heads off. Normal people do not do these things the Al Qaeda or the Tablian does.
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    Lindsey · 8 years ago
    How is the family of that girl doing ? How is the neigborhood today ? How is Major Mark Bieger doing ?

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