Behind-the-Camera of Photojournalist Nic Coury in Monterey County, California.

June 9, 2012

Funeral for Army Spc. Vilmar Galarza Hernandez

Gregoria Galarza says her last good bye to her son before his burial. 

On Friday morning, I photographed the funeral of Army Spc. Vilmar Galarza Hernandez from Salinas who was killed by an IED on May 26 while serving in Afghanistan.

These two images I posted are probably the best—and most powerful—news photos I have taken all year thus far.

This is the second funeral for a soldier I have photographed and it wasn't any easier.

There are two reasons I am a journalist. One is to expose how people really live to others—good and bad—in hopes getting them out of their comfort zones enough to help others. People make change when they are influenced to do so.

The other reason is selfish, it's psychological. For me, I need to understand why people do things and I still don't know for certain things.

I don't know why someone can be ok with taking another life.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Dragon comforts Marvin Galarza during his brother's funeral.

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