Knox Press

The Shot: The Harrowing Journey of a Marine in the War on Terror

By Bill Bee, Wills Robinson

Sergeant Bill Bee’s brush with death was broadcast on TV screens and published in newspapers around the world, but behind the cloud of dirt caused by a Taliban sniper bullet is a story of heroism, tragedy, and fighting an invisible war.

Sergeant Bill Bee is the Marine in one of the defining images from the War on Terror. He responded to gunfire without protective gear when a Taliban sniper shot hit a sandbank just a few inches from his head in Garmsir, Helmand Province. When his world plunged into darkness, he thought his luck had run out. But he somehow survived, and his brush with death on May 18, 2008, was captured by a Reuters photographer. The images were broadcast around the world and became an iconic display of bravery at a time when support for the war in Afghanistan was low. People remember the reckless Marine who risked his life, but the story of the man reeling behind that cloud of dusk is one of an invisible war he is still fighting to this day.