Michael Yon

MICHAEL YON….The Los Angeles Times profiles Iraq war blogger/reporter Michael Yon today:

From the start, Yon ignored the barriers that traditionally separated the press from its subjects. He openly rooted for soldiers and helped them collect the wreckage after roadside bombings.

In a crisis last summer, the fuzzy boundary between Yon and the troops seemed to disappear altogether. The incident began with a miles-long pursuit through Mosul, ending with Lt. Col. Kurilla being shot three times by an attacker who hid inside a shop.

In Yon’s account, confirmed by others present, the two soldiers closest at hand froze. Sgt. Maj. Robert Prosser appeared and charged into the shop, toward the enemy. But it appeared to Yon that Prosser too went down.

Yon had already screamed at the unmoving soldiers to attack. Now he called to them for a grenade, which they did not have. So he picked up Prosser’s empty M-4 rifle, loaded in a 30-round magazine, and fired three shots into the shop.

Yon learned later that Prosser was choking the attacker into unconsciousness.

One of Yon’s shots punctured a barbecue-sized propane canister, which went flying wildly. The confusion actually gave the insurgent a moment to fight back before he was finally subdued.

“When we got back to the [base], I said, ‘Have you lost your mind?’ ” Prosser recalled. “And he said, ‘I was only trying to help.’ I understood. But from a military perspective, I just cannot have him picking up a weapon.”

Yon’s blog is here.