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February 13, 2015
Sgt. William Olas Bee, a U.S. Marine from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has a close call after...
GARMSER, Afghanistan
File photo of Sgt. William Olas Bee, a U.S. Marine coming under Taliban fire in Helmand
Sgt. William Olas Bee, a U.S. Marine from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has a close call after Taliban fighters opened fire near Garmser in Helmand Province of Afghanistan May in this 18, 2008 file photo. Goran Tomasevic: If I hadn't already been pointing the camera at the Marine when the bullet hit the wall, there is no way I would have been able to react quickly enough to take those pictures.

Moments earlier I had been lazing around in Afghanistan's blistering desert heat, fending off waves of giant ants, wondering when I might get to test my new 24 mm lens.

Gunshots rang out from beyond the perimeter of the compound the U.S. Marines were guarding in the district of Garmser, a Taliban stronghold in Helmand province, the biggest opium-producing region on the planet.

I grabbed my boots and cameras and ran to look. The Marines had spotted some Taliban moving around the compound some 200 meters away. I took a quick look over the wall but couldn't see any Taliban. Then the gunfire began again. The Marines opened up with heavy machine guns. The Taliban answered back with single shots.

I thought I'd better go back and put some trousers on. I also grabbed my flak jacket, helmet and some water. As soon as I got outside the firing erupted again.

Sergeant William Bee was there with his M-16 rifle. He stood up and aimed his rifle over the wall. Suddenly it seemed to explode from an incoming round and Bee was down.

I dropped my cameras and jumped towards him. I felt his head and neck expecting to find blood, but there was none. He was breathing, but unconscious.

I picked up my cameras and shot a few more pictures, then went back to see how Bee was doing. When I found him, he was grinning from ear to ear. It was his lucky day. He hadn't been hit or seriously hurt. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic/Files (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

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