Press Play to start audio

September 11, 2013


Ijuried soldier, bathed in blue light
This photograph, "Night Raid", is of a wounded Afghan soldier in a U.S. Army helicopter after a bombing during a night raid. It was made in 2010 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Louie Palu

Night Raid

Produced by

For more than 10 years, photographer Louie Palu has documented the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, embedding with U.S. Marines as they sweep for mines or engage with enemy fighters. The result has been intimate portraits of war.

After a two-month period in which he had a number of close calls with improvised explosive devises, Palu was asked to embed with a medical evacuation helicopter. In this conversation with host Dick Gordon, Palu talks about "Night Raid," one photo from Kandahar, Afghanistan. Palu’s medical helicopter was responding to pick up wounded soldiers when an IED exploded underneath it. Palu was jostled around, and almost fell out of the machine, but the pilot was able to right the helicopter, and pick-up the wounded. The photo Palu took that night, of a wounded Afghan soldier, has received wide acclaim. It is a finalist in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Photo Gallery: Images from Louie Palu's conversation with host Dick Gordon. 


"Be Comfortable, Creature," by Explosions in the Sky; "Lonely Waves" by Fin Fang Foom

Related Chapters

You might also like…

More from Night Raid [9.11.2013]

Daily Story Update

Get daily updates and special announcements about The Story.

Produced by

WUNC North Carolina Public Radio 91.5 logo