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'Defending Freedom' Highlights Work of Sailors, Marines

By K.L. Vantrtan
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2005 – Hundreds of color photos depicting the trials and triumphs of the Navy and Marine Corps troops during operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom adorn the pages of "Defending Freedom," a new hardcover coffee-table book.

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Seaman Apprentice Vincent L. Carrillo stands watch on the flight deck of the USS Harry S. Truman, Feb. 4, 2003. The Truman and Carrier Air Wing 3 were on a six-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo by Seaman Ryan O'Connor, USN
  

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Proceeds of the book's sale will be used to provide financial assistance to sailors, Marines and their families.

Defending Freedom shines a spotlight on the phenomenal work of Navy and Marine photographers and the marvelous jobs the troops are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, said John W. Alexander, the book's designer and co-editor.

Alexander, who has published four other books, said he was honored to volunteer his time on this project.

"I was pleased to do it," said Alexander, director of communications for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. "I love working on books like this."

"This collection of images taken by military photographers and journalists vividly depicts the heroism, courage and compassion of our men and women in uniform who are opposing terrorism and its despicable acts of hatred and violence," Navy Secretary Gordon R. England noted in the book's foreword.

England has since been appointed acting deputy secretary of defense.

"This book, filled with poignant images of our magnificent men and women in uniform, brings to life the inspirational service they perform so valiantly every day," England added.

Navy Chief Petty Officer Johnny Bivera, who has more than 18 years of service, said he was originally going to serve one tour as a sailor, but photography turned out to be such an exciting career that he kept re-enlisting.

Bivera has several photos featured in Defending Freedom.

"It's great to have been part of this book," he said. "There's nothing like sharing your work in print, but more so in a book that will last a long time and be viewed by many people.

"It's also an honor to share the pages with so many of my colleagues," he added. "They're all great photographers."

Navy Chief Petty Officer Kevin Tierney, who has 17 years of service, echoed Bivera's thoughts.

The best part of being a military photographer, Tierney said, is "getting to see the best and brightest of this nation pulling together for the common good of man." The worst, he added, is seeing the suffering of humanity.

Tierney was on hand for autographs at the book's debut in March during the Sea, Air, Space Exposition here.

"I heard nothing but rave reviews," the military photographer said. "It's excellent to see a product shot and produced by Navy and Marine Corps photographers. It's just an incredible book."

The back inside cover of the book contains a DVD which features three products: "Operation Enduring Freedom: The Opening Chapter," "Operation Iraqi Freedom: Chapter II" and "Power of Teamwork." A CD also that contains high-resolution photos, those that are in the book as well as 250 others.

The book is available through the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Requests can be made by e-mail, alexande@hq.nmcrs.org, or phone, (703) 696-1904.

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageMarines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) leave the top ramp area of the USS Bataan, Dec. 12, 2001, as they head for a helicopter ride to the war zone. The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group was operating in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Johnny Bivera, USN  
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