A year ago today, I asked to be taken off of a patrol with my assigned platoon in Iraq and transferred to a different patrol, and because of that decision I am still alive today. A massive suicide bomb blast tore through the meeting hall where I was originally assigned, killing or severely injuring nearly everyone within one city block. The blast took the lives of dozens of Iraqis and was the second-deadliest suicide bomb attack during the entire Iraq war in terms of the number of U.S. casualties. That day changed the course of many lives, including my own.
I am often asked in interviews if I would make the same decision again. The answer is, without hesitation or second thought, yes. Although the decision to post those images had a huge effect on my life, and the life of my family, I stand by my decision 100 percent. I do not take what I do lightly and presenting anything other than what I did would be at the very least unethical.