I haven’t blogged in a while, since the third year in a row for SXSW 2013 (first year as photographer) and second year as production assistant for MTVu Woodies hit. Needless to say the week really disrupts my daily schedule (even two weeks out!), although I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. And you’ll have to wait just a little longer for any of my endeavors.
I take pride in “giving back” to my community and serving as a leader through civic action and duty, although I don’t weigh my actions heavily especially since there is always more that can be done. Yet there are those out there whose actions go unnoticed and have more far-reaching, profound, impactful, meaningful, etc… impact; they are in the truest sense HEROES. Such is the case with T.Sgt. Michael Paul Flores and Sr.A. Benjamin White – two of the MANY men who sacrificed their lives so “That Others May Live.”
National Geography has been granted never before access to document the lives of these brave individuals. Their trials can be seen in the show “Inside Combat Rescue.” I can’t seem to get any of the embedded video links to work so visit here to watch them.
Here is a link to a Washington Times article.
Here is the That Others May Live PSA which features my oldest and dearest cousin Michael P. Flores and his lovely family.
Here is one of the many moving tributes the Armed Services has paid to honor these dear, dear men in the Arizona base they were stationed at the time of their passing. It was one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever filmed.
Here is a tribute paid by his comrades at his burial.
I try not to live life with regrets. As one of my favorite sayings goes, “Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never make it out alive.” One of my regrets was not realizing the impact that Michael Paul had on the lives of others, partially because he was such a quiet, humble man. Heck for most of my life I didn’t know what he did for a living, and even when I knew his job term I didn’t look more into it, or even question him directly, partially because of the whole stigma of not wanting to bring up a bad memory or force a difficult discussion on him. And the few times we saw each other in our adult life I didn’t want him to be reminded of “that” life while we’re enjoying turkey dinner! Never the less, I wish I could’ve told him how much he meant to me, our family, and the lives of countless others. Well… I’ll take that opportunity now. We love you and miss you dearly man, you mean the world to ALL of US!