As a combat correspondent, capturing the drama of an intense patrol or combat operation was part of the job while U.S. Marine Sgt. Reece Lodder was deployed in Afghanistan.
But what the Everson native loved best were the moments between the action, when Marines had down time, were resting or were sharing candy and water with local children.
"A good photo doesn't have to be Marines out in the fight. It can be those raw, unfiltered moments where they're human," Lodder said. "That's the reality of it. They're tired, they're sore, they need to take a minute for some water, a moment of rest."
Lodder, 23, is being honored with the 2013 Sergeant Major Dan Daly Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the photos he took while he was deployed with the 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines in Afghanistan's Helmand Province from October 2011 to May 2012.
The award is given for a distinguished example of photography that captures Marines or Marine Corps life. Lodder said the award was an honor.
"The reason I do my job is to tell the Marine Corps story," said Lodder, who is stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. "There were a lot of rich opportunities to show what they were doing and why that work was important."
One of his favorite photos from deployment was of a bomb-sniffing dog curled up tightly between the legs of two Marines lying down to rest between patrols in January 2012. Lodder said he liked taking pictures that showed Marines interacting with animals and kids because they were such relatable reminders of home.
"It brings the human element out of what we do," he said. "That was one of those moments."
SEE MORE PHOTOS
To see more of Marine Sgt. Reece Lodder's award-winning photography, click on this link for the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and scroll down to the entry for The Sergeant Major Dan Daly Award.