A Marine Comes Home

A Marine comes home
A U.S. Marine Master Sergeant offers words to the family of fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas O'Brien, including his mother Tammy O'Brien, second from right, sister Haley O'Brien and father Richard O'Brien, Jr. during a memorial service for fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas O'Brien at First Assembly of God church on South Myrtle School Road on Monday June 20, 2011.

Nicholas O'Brien was the first member of the armed forces from Gaston County to be killed in Afghanistan since the conflict began. A roadside bomb exploded while he and his fellow marines were on routine foot patrol in Helmand Province on June 9, killing O'Brien and wounding others.

View a full slideshow from the event and read more about it here.

A Marine comes home
U.S. Marines carry the casket containing the body of Lance Cpl. Nicholas O'Brien to a waiting hearse following the memorial service. O'Brien will be laid to rest next Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

A Marine comes home
Above: Supporters with U.S. flags line the entrance to First Assembly of God to welcome the procession carrying O'Brien's body to the memorial service. Below: Members of the Patriot Guard Riders turn out in support of O'Brien.

A Marine comes home

Muddy and loving it

We love mud!

I had to go home and change after this assignment.

Battle of Ramsour's Mill

Storm Clouds

I was assigned to photograph the Battle of Ramsour's Mill Celebration and Reenactment at a historic site in Lincolnton today. Due to a low turn out of reenactors this year, they chose not to do an actual Revolutionary War battle simulation (bummer) and the weather scared people off too.

There were actually over a hundred spectators when I arrived, but they quickly dispersed after the afternoon's demonstrations (below). With few visitors interacting with the reenactors I didn't have much to photograph, but I got all that I needed anyway and was able to spend the down time learning a thing or two about history myself.

And I think I must have spent half an hour watching this line of thunder storms roll in and precipitate (pun intended) a mass retreat from the battlefield. As ominous as the sky was, the storms turned out to be pretty mild.

Battle of Ramsour's Mill

Crazy Eyes

Crazy Eyes
James Richard Verone peers through the glass of a visitation booth at the Gaston County Jail on Thursday June 16, 2011 where he is being held while awaiting trial for an alleged bank robbery. 

I believe this is the first time I've been asked to shot a portrait of an inmate at the jail. Which makes sense. The jail doesn't normally allow cameras inside and most inmates have lawyers telling them not to speak to the media.

This guy is an exception to the rules, in more ways than one.

If you have a minute, I highly recommend reading The Gazette article about this man who has decided to make his new residence the Gaston County Jail.

Hartford Drive Homicide

Hartford Dr Homicide
A family member consoles a woman who made statements indicating that she was the mother of a man found dead at 2102 Hartford Drive off of Hudson Boulevard on Friday June 17, 2011.

Hartford Dr Homicide
Guns drawn, Gastonia police officers prepare to enter and clear a home at 2102 Hartford Drive where a man, covered with a yellow tarp, was found shot in the chest in the front yard just before 10:00pm on Friday June 17, 2011. 
Hartford Dr Homicide - Dead End
Neighborhood children watch as Gastonia police investigate the murder.

Education in trouble

North Gaston physical science and chemistry teacher Elizabeth Leonard poses with the smart board in her classroom on Wednesday June 1, 2011. Leonard received a pink slip informing her she may not have a job next year despite being named the Gaston County Schools New Teacher of the Year.

The fired up...and the not so fired up
Cheryl Virgil, left, a pre-kindergarten educator who works with autistic children, gets fired up while speaking at the "Save Our Schools" rally held by the Gaston County Democratic Party in front of the Gaston County Courthouse on Thursday May 26, 2011.