Army Releases Images of Photographer’s Last Moments Before Mortar Explosion

A mortar tube accidentally explodes during an Afghan National Army live-fire training exercise in Laghman province, Afghanistan, July 2, 2013. The blast killed Army Spc. Hilda Clayton and four Afghan soldiers. (Hilda Clayton/U.S. Army)

Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine the risks faced by our servicemen and women in the day-to-day operations that keep this country safe.

Today the civilian world is receiving a small, tragic glimpse of those risks.

The Army released images this week taken by 22-year-old combat photographer Spc. Hilda Clayton just moments before she died during a live-fire training accident in Afghanistan nearly four years ago, the Military Times reports.

“Not only did Clayton help document activities aimed at shaping and strengthening the partnership [in Afghanistan] but she also shared in the risk by participating in the effort,” stated an article published in the Army’s Military Review journal.

The images were released with the support of Clayton’s family. They depict the blast from an accidental mortar tube explosion that occurred on July 2, 2013, in the eastern Afghan area of Qaraghahi. The explosion killed Clayton along with four Afghan soldiers who were being trained in mortar operations.

Another photo of the tragedy. (Photo: Hilda Clayton/U.S. Army)

Clayton had been tasked with documenting the event and training an Afghan Army photojournalist who also died in the accident.

Clayton was a Georgia native who served in the Army as a visual information specialist attached to the 4th Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division based at Forward Operating Base Gamberi.

She was a small part of a largely unknown effort by the Pentagon to create a visual record of U.S. military operations, according to CBS News.

Army Spc. Hilda Clayton was the first combat documentation and production specialist to be killed in Afghanistan. (Photo U.S. Army)

As part of the storied Fort Meade, Md.-based 55th Signal Company, Clayton worked to “acquire and utilize still and motion imagery in support of combat, information, humanitarian, Special Forces, intelligence, reconnaissance, engineering, legal, public affairs,” and other operations around the world.

But Clayton enjoyed her job even beyond its role advancing the Army’s goals. “She died doing what she loved,” Spc. Shenee Brooks told CBS.

Brooks served in the same unit as Clayton, and when asked how she felt about the photo’s being made public, she said, “I don’t think any photo that I’ve seen can compare to that photo. She has the last shot of how she died in that photo.”

The combat camera unit has named their annual competition the SPC Hilda I. Clayton Best Combat Camera (COMCAM) Competition in Clayton’s honor.

Her name is also etched into the Hall of Heroes at the Defense Information School in Fort Meade, where she graduated in 2012.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 60 comments… add one }
  • Vic May 8, 2017, 2:40 am

    I have read all the comments so far.. Many have made good points.

    Please understand this..
    The photo released and the propaganda being pushed by the current Military Leadership.. Have an unworthy goal..
    A great portion of the Senior Leadership of the Military has been either purged or co-opted into supporting a Politically Correct Globalist Agenda over the last 20-30 some years..
    Part of that agenda is to do away with the very real differences in Gender. To normalize young women dying or being seriously injured, permanently disfigured in the US Military. To take away the cultural desire to honor and protect women..
    This is very much a part of an Agenda that has been going on since the days of Edward Bernays a mass marketing specialist and propagandist who was will and able in one instance to convince women part of their “Liberation” hinged upon them smoking “Liberty Sticks” (Cigarettes)

    In the Photo we see a number of soldiers dying but it is a sterile picture.. It does not show brains scattered, intestines hanging out, broken limbs with bone protruding from the flesh.. One cannot hear the cries of the grievously wounded and diying Worse yet it does not show a women who survived with Horrific Burns, nubs for fingers.. Years of suffering and pain while doctors try to reconstruct the lips, a nose, ears… (Such cases do indeed exist).

    Few of you will ever experience just what it is like to walk in with your friend to a Pizza place and have little children begin to cry in fright at the vision of horrible disfigurement. It is hard enough for a man to bear.. Now sentence your daughter to that fate.

    The drive to bring women into the Military in Combat is not based upon need we are not short men for the job.. Now perhaps there are those who do not want to pay sufficiently for men to do the job and want to broaden the pool of people.. but it is an a agenda that goes for beyond that…. it is political.. supported by politicians. it is driven by a cadre of Female Officers who in truth forgot what it means to serve and are driven now by their own desires for personal aggrandizement (Star Chasers) on the backs and at the expense of others men and women alike.

    There is an old saying ..,” Rich man’s War… Poor Mans Fight. The American Female Officer Corps while it contains many wonderful leaders who effectively serve our Nation…sadly has within it a sizable contingent who desire personal power and influence.. for whom the notion of Service has no meaning …The only way for them to get it is to force female enlisted into ever increasingly unsuitable duties.

    While mouthing cute phrases such as.. “The best man for a job might be a women” they hide their true agenda… Indeed.. there really are many duties in the US Military where women excel past men.. However the opposite is also true and the Best Man for a many cases remains a man.

    Consider a Heavy Mechanized Combat Engineer Battalion with say 15 mechanics half of which are women. It is routine for Starters, Alternators and other components requiring removal and replacement to weigh 75lbs. For most women that is over half their body weight. In the real world if they can break the parts lose.. Often as not they must seek the assistance of Male Mechanics (Pulling them from their duties) to complete the removal or replacement. Within just that MOS Military Occupational Specialty just one of the Army standards was for the mechanic to be able to pick up their basic mechanics tool kit run 100 yards.. set it down.. pick it up again and run 100 yards back.. Few females assigned were/are capable of performing that simple task. Today it is not uncommon to find them using a dolly to move their tools. Ask yourself how well would that dolly work dragging it thru a rice paddy or a mud bog?

    Now that you may begin to see things a bit differently look at the propaganda on the below Lame Stream News

    Inspiring? ROTFLOL…

    Is was common practice for the 2nd Infantry Division Combat Soldiers to march with full pack and Combat Gear as well as their Winter/Summer Duffle Bags 12 miles each month in 2 1/2 hours simply to demonstrate their readiness.. At he end of the march which usually began in the morning .. Most would go back to their duties,

    The truth is Physical Standards across the board for all services were lowered in 1975 to allow a larger percentage of females to be in the Armed Forces. Since then the decline in physical standards has only accelerated..
    The expansion of Special Forces was for a time a way to maintain standards for at least some Line Units.. Of course now we have female “Special Forces” as sad joke.

    Today we even have women being “trained” to be Armor Officers,, Tank Crewman.. Someone forgot to mention it is routine in those units for each man in but a couple hours with their arms only to move more than a 2000lbs of ammunition in order to simply prepare a tank for battle. That each of the two tracks weighs 6 tons which break and then must be hauled about sometimes in 4 feet of mud.. Those are exercises in brute strength combined with intellect..
    Truth is the average fit female is roughly equivalent to the average physically fit 54 year old male.

    She will not face 54 year old men in Combat .. The enemy knows this.. and laughs..

    Women do not complete training nor their first tours of duty at the same rate as men.. They suffer substantially greater injury rates…. Taking considerable monies from National Defense.

    I will leave you with one final horror.. Something the leadership at DOD has known for at least 35 years.

    Men have a Closed Pelvis design..narrow hips and can carry substantial weight for considerable distances. Females have an Open Pelvis.. by design to facilitate childbirth.. When females are subjected to sustained physical and psychological stress. not only does their menstrual cycle cease.. But they begin to suffer micro fractures in the public bone region of the pelvis.. These quickly develop into life changing severely painful long term debilitating injuries.

    Those in charge know what I have written is accurate and substantially correct,

    For the sake of Political Correctness they want to ignore these facts..

    For the sake of young American women and Men in the Armed Forces who simply do not deserve to be pawns of the PC Elite, do not deserve to be used to further false narratives at the cost of National Security and their lives and health… I hope you will look into this further not ignore the facts.. Make your voice heard…


  • Edgar May 6, 2017, 2:47 pm

    The images were released with the support of Clayton’s family. Clayton enjoyed her job even beyond its role advancing the Army’s goals. “She died doing what she loved,” Spc. Shenee Brooks told CBS. I cannot thank Clayton enough for her service to our nation and I am sad that SHE made the paid the ultimate price of being in the military. Enough said !For the rest of our Armed Brothers, Sisters and Patriots, Lets stop responding to the ignorant TROLLS who are lurking in this blog. They are only serving to provoke and instigate controversy. When we respond to them…..well they are getting what they want. Most of them don\’t even refer to Spc Clayton (may she rest in peace)…they only spew stupidity to get you to respond.Best way to rid our blog of them is to IGNORE them completely. It is all together different if it was a single ignorant person…but here it it clear that this is organized provocation and as patriots and people of honor we are falling into their trap of stupidity.
    Mark Twian wrote: Never argue with a stupid person…..They will only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
    Lets stop responding to them…..because a response; is precisely what they want.

  • MG May 6, 2017, 12:17 pm

    I believe Yuri, Dewey and a few others commenting here must have missed their flight. I feel like I’ve just read the manifesto of those that flew the planes on 9/11.

  • bjg May 5, 2017, 6:15 pm

    What are all you liberal trash doing on a gun page? Go find some obama page to spread you BS
    God bless you and rest in peace-Hero.

  • John m duke May 5, 2017, 5:30 pm

    I used to be a gunner on 4.2 motors,sometimes we would get one stuck in in the tube,,bad when that happens,,

  • Christian May 5, 2017, 2:28 pm

    I was browsing through the comments and I can see that the heat is up a bit when talking about this tragic accident. Yet, I hope that my posting won’t anger anyone but I also couldn’t help myself to comment, sorry about that. I won’t write about if the war in Afghanistan was right or wrong, except to say that I was never a fan of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and so on. I better continue to say that I also have never served in any military, nor have I any real-life war experience. Just in case, if anyone of you might think that.

    I am interested to know why the mortal tube has accidentally blown up. If I would be a soldier myself and would have to serve after such a tragedy, I would never use that stuff, if I cannot be sure that thing won’t blow myself up, even if my commander, or whoever would be in charge, would order me to use that thing. I even would go so far to say that mortars are not that useful because I have read that you can only take as much ammunition as you can carry, which are maybe just 2-3 shells. And I don’t think they are useful against heavy fortifications, as they lack the firepower for that, plus I have also heard that it is difficult to calculate the exact setting for your mortar, to be sure that your shell will score a direct hit, which means you will have to take many shots until you finally find the best setting and then it is mostly too late because either the enemy already got you or has moved to a different position or you already ran out of ammunition. So, after all I think they shouldn’t use mortars because in my eyes (Again, I got NO personal experience.) as those things are kind of useless and, as we can see here, even dangerous for the own troops.

    Another thing is, which is maybe kind of off-topic already, that I would rename the unit of Hilda Clayton. I am talking about “1st Cavalry Division”, as if they would still ride on horses. Maybe someone of you can explain this to me. Again, I never served in any military, so maybe I miss any historical facts, why units like this are still called cavalry division.

    As tragic as this accident was, I personally don’t think that it was right to put Hilda Clayton right into the Hall of Heroes of her military school, although I can understand the motive of her school because of the fact that she was a student there, and now I hope that I really don’t anger any patriots with my comment. The reason I say that is that she didn’t die in battle but in an accident. Yes, it is a tragedy and I really don’t want to talk it down in any way but deadly accidents happen every day all around the world, no matter if they happen in the military or in the daily civilian life. Decide for yourself, who is more heroic to you? Someone that “just” dies in an accident, as cruel as it is, or someone that dies in battle, fighting the enemies of your country?

    Again, I hope I didn’t anger anyone with my comment.

    • Matthew A. Coffin, CPT (Ret.) USAR May 5, 2017, 11:18 pm

      Not trying to be a jerk, but you are a prime example of someone that should keep their opinions to themselves. If you don’t have knowledge of something please don’t give your opinion. It just makes you look dumb, cocky and moreover immature honestly. You know what happens to troops in the military that refuse to obey a lawful order in combat that is given a lawful by a commander or any other commissioned officer or any officer such as “Drop that mortar in the tube and support your forward infantry whose lives depend on you”? Worse case said commissioned officer can shoot and kill you if you don’t comply. That’s the way it works. If you had good parents and were raised to respect authority and do what you were told to do no big deal. Not really sure if this is the case with you. Doesn’t seem like it anyway. You don’t have a choice because it’s your job even if it’s dangerous. The thing that really ticks me off about experience lacking self entiltled types like you appear to be is how far away from reality they are. The military is dangerous even for those who are in the rear with the gear. The ironic thing is that any combat zone that I was ever in during my twenty-two year career in the Marines and Army was still safer with lower rates of violent crime than any major city in the US at the time. The only place I ever got directly shot at during my career was in LA during the riots that occurred after the Rodney King ruling. We were sent up there from Camp Pendleton. The only time I got shot at was in my own country! The only other times I have ever had a firearm pointed at me with intent to do harm against yours truly was…in the US. Anywhere you go in the world stuff can go wrong. You don’t hear that in the media though. Again, not trying to be mean, but please keep your opinions to yourself until you have enough experience on a subject to earn the right to have an opinion that is worth anything. Just a word of wisdom. What makes the death of these soldiers even more noble than if they were killed my an enemy is the fact that they were still brave enough and loved their country enough to put themselves in harms way to fight against those that would kill you if they aren’t fought on their own ground and allowed to do wrong in our country. If you can’t understand how selfless and beautiful that is, to be willing to lose your life to do good for your fellow conuntrymen than I’m sorry, but chances are you never will. Good luck and God Bless.

      • Christian May 6, 2017, 3:33 pm

        Hello Matthew,

        thank you for your response and your honest opinion about my comment. Yes, I know that obeying orders is something that is highly expected from soldiers and that the treatment to those who don’t do so can be harsh, if, as you rightfully mentioned, not even deadly, but if they send you into a battle with faulty equipment, then I personally think it is a different thing. Everybody has a right to live and to survive, including military personnel. I also really don’t want to talk down anyone that serves in the military and I really do not underestimate the services they do. The fact that I honestly wrote that I don’t have any military experience was because I even wanted to make sure that nobody thinks I am trying to be some kind of an expert, like others would do. In fact, I personally am willing to die for God and for my faith into Him, so I do understand what it means to plenty of soldiers to serve and even die for their country, no matter which. I just hope that tragedies like that won’t happen again because no life should be wasted, except the lives of terrorists and I dearly hope that the US and their allies will be successful against ISIS and all the other terrorist organizations because obviously, we all have enough of their terror. This victory can only be assured by good soldiers like you, Hilda and any other soldier fighting against these terrorists and therefore I don’t want them to be slaughtered by faulty equipment.

        Matthew, thank you again and also thank you for your service and for sharing your personal experiences.

    • Edgar May 6, 2017, 12:54 am

      You simply insult yourself…to say that you are uneducated, would be and understatement, to say that you are empathetic would be an insult. I really don’t think that you could possible understand how ignorant you are. I am an male and if I were to make thoughtless comments about women carrying unborn children and aborting them or about the transgender hardships in life or about feminism……then I would be making thoughtless ignorant remarks….like yours are. You wrote that you had never served and that you did not understand anything about the equipment that killed her nor about the military…..but you still felt compelled to write about something that you knew nothing about. Why ? Perhaps you feel some sort of sick accomplishment for getting people to respond to you. Its too bad that you hid online for if you were to behave and speak like that in public, I doubt that you would do it very often. It wouldn’t be long before someone was helping you really understand just how ignorant your writings are. Rather than make uneducated thoughtless remarks (and you knew your idiocy would provoke remarks) You should have stayed your pen and tongue. This is whats wrong with liberals today. They have forgotten how to observe and think rationally. Now you liberals provoke and attempt to cash in on the instigated remarks.
      Shame on you. Shame on all those you represent.

      • Christian May 6, 2017, 3:36 pm


        At first, I don’t want to feel any accomplishment if people would answer to my comment. In fact, I didn’t await or expected someone to comment it at all and that was not my intention. Plus, I am absolutely not one of those liberals, no matter if you believe this now or not. Would a real liberal honestly tell you that he has in fact not much knowledge before he says his personal opinion, to assure people that they are free to correct him, if he might be wrong? I personally don’t think so. With that I even wanted to make sure that no one would believe I am trying to be some kind of a pseudo expert, because I do believe that is what those liberals are very often about. Nor do I support child abortion, the gender madness and all the other stuff you’ve mentioned. Yes, I wanted to write down my opinion about this tragic topic and a few other points about it. That was all and of course there will be always people feeling insulted by it, no matter how honest I am trying to write it. That is the risk everybody is carrying when writing a comment, no matter what it is about and I am sorry for probably having make you feel that way. By the way, two years ago I was speaking in front of plenty of people on 19 right-wing demonstrations every Monday and marched together with them too. So you see, your accusation towards me aren’t right either. That is all I would say for now.

    • Scott in Atlanta May 8, 2017, 1:56 pm

      Go away, troll. I won’t dignify your either a) stunning idiocy or b) purposeful liberal trolling with a response, other than to say, get the hell out of here, where real men and heros, vets and men of honor, or men who didn’t serve but respect those who did, discuss matters in a coherent, respectful and knowledgeable manner. You are not welcome here. Be gone.

      • Christian May 8, 2017, 2:36 pm


        at first, as I wrote to Edgar, I am far away from being a liberal. I am pro-freedom but I am not one of the people you have mentioned, although I can imagine that you won’t believe my words anyway. Democracy means that you can freely say and write what you think, even if a lot of people won’t like it. Again, it wasn’t my intention to anger anyone or to talk the service of any soldiers down, that is why I said sorry right in my first post, for the case that I did anger some readers and yes, it really seems that I did. But If my comment would had been that rude and would had gone against any rules, I am sure the administrator of Gunsamerica wouldn’t have uploaded it in the first place. Otherwise I would just repeat myself, if I write again what I already wrote to Matthew and Edgar.

  • Robert May 5, 2017, 12:36 pm

    Jerry wrote: “If you’re not a supporter of the military to even a small degree, why are you here? Do you even take note of the irony of talking smack from the privacy of your little safe space (only possible due to the actions of said military)? Move along ingrate.”

    1.) I’m here because I’m free to voice my opinion. Not wanting U.S. troops to fight useless, unconstitutional wars of aggression does not equate to hatred of said troops.
    2.) You referred to the comment below as talking smack. What it is is calling out a warmonger for what he is — a warmonger.
    “You’d better hurry down to the recruiter’s office and sign up.
    The USG needs more cannon fodder for its obvious wars of aggression.”
    3.) I’m not made safer by U.S. troops killing people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, etc. Read some history on the dangers of war and standing armies to liberty.

    Here is what James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution, had to say about war:

    “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people…. [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals…. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

    • Mark May 5, 2017, 7:26 pm

      James Madison didn’t live in a time where much of the things you Robert rely on daily existed. The fact you posted on a Internet blog says a lot about your need for modern conveniences. As a country we look out word to provide these things for you Robert. In the process we might piss people off, cause them to drive planes into buildings and saw people’s heads off. So, we send our military to fight these bastards in their own shit hole rather on our own country. So yes, the military keeps you safe, unless you can convince the rest of the country to go back life in the 1830’s and require nothing from the rest of the world, the USG has to send the military to protect our interests. This is oversimplied for you Robert, I respect your opinion so long as it not desicrate the memory Spc Clayton, hooahh.

    • Dewey May 5, 2017, 11:25 pm

      Well stated Robert! Luckily, there are some that have been in the military and see it for what it really is, and don’t like the taste of Blind Patriotism-flavored Kool-Aid. Blind patriotism and the almost absolute hero-worship of the military is a scary thing, indeed.

    • Carlos May 6, 2017, 12:39 pm

      Your postulations on US Military tactics and weaponry are embarrassingly erroneous. In addition, you assert that, “If I would be a soldier myself and would have to serve after such a tragedy, I would never use that stuff. . .” Please, don’t flatter yourself. You obviously lack the integrity and courage it takes to serve in any branch of our armed forces.

      With regard to you historical knowledge, your citation of Madison’s statement is a bit out of context. Madison made this statement in 1795, when the United States was still attempting to determine how to balance a guarantee of individual freedom with the need for limited tax revenues. This was prior to the debacle of The Barbary Wars, and the war of 1812, both of which demonstrated the inherent dangers posed by the lack of a standing military.

      On another note, Madison also stated the following: “I have sometimes thought there could be no stronger testimony in favor of Religion or against temporal Enjoyments even the most rational and manly than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent Advocates in the cause of Christ, & I wish you may give in your Evidence in this way. Such instances have seldom occurred, therefore they would be more striking and would be instead of a “Cloud of Witnesses.”” – Letter to William Bradford (September 1773)

      Do you also support Madison’s position on the fervent advocacy of Christianity, or only with those of his statements that fit within your liberal, insular dogma?

  • Larry May 5, 2017, 12:36 pm

    God bless & keep you, Hilda.

  • Jeff Ryan May 5, 2017, 12:31 pm

    All you freaken moron’s talk big about all this fighting is for big bank and corporation’s. Maybe a part of it but not all of it. Do any of you righteous do-gooders ever pull your head out of your ass long enough to really think of what your saying. Where do you IDIOTS think the money comes from that payed for your house, payed for your car and every other thing you own. One way or another it came from a bank or big business. When you turn your light switch on you can thank corporate. Everybody works for the day they can retire on there investments​. Were does that money come from? Guess what, it comes from the stock market. OOOOO yea big corporate and banks. If you people would think before you talk so stupidly, there would be alot less stupid in this world. O yea can’t​ fix STUPID. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND ALL OUR MILITARY AND FIRST RESPONDERS

    • Mike Henry May 5, 2017, 3:20 pm

      Are your comments relevant to anything mentioned above?? Your grammar and spelling are abominable! Instead of ranting and raving, maybe you should get an education.

      • Matthew A. Coffin, CPT (Ret.) USAR May 5, 2017, 11:57 pm

        Maybe you should try to understand the message this gentleman was communicating as best he could vs. being an English teacher to someone who isn’t in your English class. Your three sentences were more of a rant than the guy you are critiquing. That and your grammar was off twice in the sentences. By the way I was an English teacher at one time. Two question marks. Wrong. Comma placement after raving. Not necessary. Wrong. What Mr. Ryan said was spot on. The military is just an extension of the policies of any nation and there would be no businesses that produce the things we enjoy in a free nation if the military weren’t there to protect the wealth of this nation from those who would take it by force if allowed to do so. You know what the biggest thing I accomplished in my career is in my opinion? Helping to keep petroleum prices low and allowing our nation to use up other countries’ oil reserves before we expend our own. Of course that isn’t the only thing, but I do think it was the largest gain. I’m proud of that as it is extremely integral to an industrial nation. Just being a part of the military in a country that chooses to defend not only it’s own lands and interests is a great thing. You know why the US doesn’t get attacked more and it’s safe for not only citizens, but for businesses to conduct their operations? It’s because they are afraid to because of the fact that our military is the strongest and best in the world and because of the second amendment and the fact that our nation is armed better than any country in the world. Go ahead with the fault finding way of thinking you appear to have and miss the forest through the trees. The sad thing is that a majority of people in the US are so spoiled and used to being reasonably safe at all times that they think that it is just an entitlement. By the way, as I am sure that my grammar, etc. isn’t error free in my rant (if you want to take it that way go right ahead) I can assure you that I have a very good education, several degrees whatever. I’ve met more educated dumbasses with no common sense whatsoever than I have “uneducated” persons with common sense. You can’t learn common sense in a classroom. You learn that from good parents and good values and from not judging others. There’s a reason why the adage “Judge not lest you be judged” came to be. Hopefully you will figure that out someday soon. Put that in you pipe and smoke it smartguy.

    • Alan May 5, 2017, 9:50 pm

      Well said comrade. Yeah jackass, think about it. Oops, sorry, COMRADE jackass.
      Jerry, if anyone has their head up where the sun don’t shine, it’s you.
      Rethink your approach and try again.
      BTW the Jeff Ryan, is YOUR home paid for? DO YOU have a bank account? DO YOU file taxes?
      Even the internet you used to pass on your hate is an entity of that which you rage against!
      When you’ve thrown OFF those shackles and can show us the way, ONLY THEN can you criticize us WITHOUT being a hypocrite!!
      You’re a schmuck.

    • Dewey May 5, 2017, 11:28 pm

      So what you’re saying is that service members fight and die for Wall Street. That sounds about right. There is no god.

  • Adam Jeppson May 5, 2017, 11:44 am

    Why did I look at this? This was wrong.

  • Frank Romo May 5, 2017, 11:41 am

    As a former Combat Photographer, I served as one in Vietnam, it brings great sadness. To the family of Combat Photographer Hilda Clayton, my thoughts and prayers and to her may you be resting in peace having covered the most epic exposure since the photo by Frank Capra’s Fallen Soldier. I’m sure she didn’t hesitate to cover that assignment, we’ve all been placed in positions not knowing it might be our last, because it was our job. I relive the events of my tour in Vietnam and it still wakes me in the middle of the night with a startle, I pray she’s in a safe place…

  • Pete May 5, 2017, 11:28 am

    To all these idiot’s who can’t understand that this brave soul paid the ultimate price for them!! Why don’t you just pack up and leave!! Or at least exercise your right to remain SILENT!!! And as always. Remember this, your error is between the keyboard and the operators seat!!

  • Hank May 5, 2017, 11:27 am

    Is no one here interested in how this happened? Was it simply a burst tube, or did the round detonate in the cannon barrel. If so was it sabotaged? The latest 60mm mortar can be fired by trigger, so it could have been double loaded, then the trigger fired the lower shell with another sitting on top of it. Remember these were foreign ‘trainees’ so who was supervising the exercise? I’m hoping the Army publishes the results of the investigation.

    • John Bibb May 5, 2017, 1:28 pm

      HI HANK–well said! Brave lady–any person putting on the Military Uniform is in harm’s way–sooner or later.
      Like a double edged sword–most Military arms can cut both ways. No matter how careful a person is around them.
      I worked in the HAWK and SAM-D / Patriot R&D Missile and Radar areas for 2 years as an Army draftee and then for 41 years as a contractor engineer. The rule there was to have THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE actually needed for a task near any explosives or rocket motors. Particularly during arming and disarming operations on the launch pad. Done quickly!–and then outta there STAT! Too bad that that more than only the person actually firing the mortar was exposed to it. Lots to be said for foxholes, sandbags, walls, and a remote trigger!!
      John Bibb

      • Pseudo May 5, 2017, 2:54 pm

        I am curios as to how you wirked with the Patriot system as a draftee? The draft was over in the early 70’s and the Patriot system was not fielded until the earliest the mid 1980’s. The did however still have the Nike Hercules system employed until the early 1970’s time frame.

        The HAWK missile I believe went through three different iterations, the original system with the LOPIR, then the HIPIR, before they brought what was called the Improved HAWK system. before being replaced by the Patriot system within the US military.

  • Fred May 5, 2017, 10:19 am

    My daughter graduated from the Defense Information School at Fort Meade. This could have been her.

  • Robert May 5, 2017, 10:00 am

    Another useless death in another useless war. What a waste of a precious human life.

  • Ricky Price May 5, 2017, 9:18 am

    People like that died for people in there homes being free to make stupid comments that’s never been in the military.

  • Fred Ziffle May 5, 2017, 8:39 am

    RIP dear Sister-in-Arms. Thanks to the Clayton family for having the courage to share her final work. As for the quip about “… day-to-day operations that keep this country safe…” Every Afghan soldier trained and in the field is one less American Soldier required in Afghanistan. Just because the weak-livered wish we would pull out of there won’t do anything but strengthen our enemies. IE: the mess Obama created by abandoning Iraq. So we’re in it, either directly, in advisory capacities, or by training Afghans. She was doing her part and she made the ultimate sacrifice for her country. God bless her and her family.

  • larry May 5, 2017, 8:25 am

    What a waste. Sending decent people around the globe to kill and be killed for no particular reason other than to enrich those financing both sides and expand the power of our tyrannical government at the expense of our liberties.

    It works, of course, because of all the fools that cry ‘patriotism’ and hero-worship Federal enforcers.

    • Latimer May 5, 2017, 8:54 am

      Couldn’t agree more.

      • Cappie May 5, 2017, 9:47 am

        And I couldn’t agree less.

    • Robert May 5, 2017, 10:02 am

      Another could not agree more.

    • MSG John Laigaie May 5, 2017, 10:18 am

      If you don’t like the way this Country is run, then Vote. If you voted and are still unhappy, vote again. Disparage your .gov all you want, but this woman was a volunteer. She volunteered to serve her Country, what have you done keyboard commando??

      • Yuri Futanari May 5, 2017, 11:33 am

        Voting was once an accepted replacement for violence in arms to create change. It no longer works. The banks create wars, and direct the future of everybody with ‘notmoney’ that all these fools give value with their faith in it. The banks own the world, they own you, they own your vote, they put into power over you whom they choose, and nothing you do or say is going to change any of that. The whole world, not just America is down the drains, and mostly because the American government was the first super power to be seduced, and through us and our expansionist regime, has spread to all corners of the earth. Systematically the world bank, through war, money and resource manipulation, politics, murder, bribery and scandal has weaseled its self into power in every single country on earth. Right now, as of the last report I had seen only 2 nations do not yet operate under the Rothschild global banking network, and that is subject to go to zero at any time, and then, when all people on earth are under their foot, they shall openly declare themselves and you will fall under the thrall of the New World Order. Not only will your precious troops NOT prevent it, they will be PART OF it. Deny that all you want, but when its done, most people won’t even know it and the few who do [like me] will be hunted down, tortured and publicly executed. I am willing to give my life for my country when they find me [and they will] because MY country is the Kingdom of God, not any worthless nation or institution of man. Had all Americans be followers of God and Christ, and not money and personal pleasures, this would never have happened, but alas, this was never a ‘christian’ nation as many will like to you and say, it has been a nation of divided, chaotic, arrogant, selfish, narcissistic fools, each looking out for number one and screw they neighbor unless it is for personal gain to politically act like you are doing them any good for just long enough to further your own cause… We, in the end, are nothing but weaker versions of the same world bank which is enslaving us because the world bank is doing the work of Satan the Devil in systematically causing the ultimate global extinction of human kind, and we all foolishly play along thinking nothing is wrong with it.

        • Jeff Ryan May 5, 2017, 12:10 pm

          You really are messed up in the head. Thank God there’s only a few of you out there like you say.

        • ILL WILL May 5, 2017, 2:45 pm

          Yuri could not be more accurate in his well researched assessment. Thank you for understanding how full spectrum dominance works. To you all who think that thinking is “messed up in the head” need a real history lesson…

          • Alan May 5, 2017, 10:29 pm

            No “Ill Will” , it’s the rantings of a deluded individual who sees things in a religious light of good and evil.
            The references to their own demise as a ‘martyr'(it’s there, look closely), as well as the other religious references, should be enough to tell you that, IF you weren’t as deluded yourself.
            The two of you are off the reservation, seek help, so you may enjoy your life as opposed to this conspiracy filled psychopathic nightmare you have conjured up.
            BTW, the Christian religion isn’t the only religion in the world. So to extrapolate that upon the world is total nonsense, since others in the world won’t see it from that viewpoint.
            THAT ALONE is good reason to realize the two of you are just not dealing with a full deck.
            Seek help.

    • Walt Graham May 5, 2017, 11:03 am

      Larry is right! There is nothing wrong with serving your country and respect to all who volunteer to serve. However, most of the time, we are in another country under the guise of freeing a people who have been wronged, so that some ass-hat with too much money can get more money. We need to begin again with a new government. We need to start over, even if it means refreshing the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

    • Jerry May 5, 2017, 11:19 am

      I supposed you’d rather we sit back and watch the world implode? Removing all our troops from the field won’t prevent war, it will only encourage those with an oppressive mindset even further. Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    • Larry May 5, 2017, 12:41 pm

      From one Larry to another, you’re a fool.

  • Dan Forbey May 5, 2017, 7:01 am

    Am I the only one this strikes as more than a little on the ghoulish side? Would you care at all about her work if it didn’t show people dying?

    • David May 5, 2017, 9:47 am

      Yes Dan, caring people do. You got your 15 seconds of idiocy

      • Larry May 5, 2017, 12:42 pm

        He’s another fool on this site, David.

  • JGinNJ May 5, 2017, 4:38 am

    “… day-to-day operations that keep this country safe…” It is not clear that the day to day operations of our military are keeping us safe. Our people in the field are fantastic. Our leaders who send them out are less so.

    • DaveB May 5, 2017, 8:43 am

      What’s clear is the continuing Propaganda that “our” Imperialist Military Forces which are in fact only in the business of manufacturing enemies and/or defending Corporate Profits and NOT “defending our freedoms. The last war the US was involved in that defended our freedoms was WWII. Korea? A UN “police action.” Who actually believes Vietnam was a threat to anyone except the CIA’s Golden Triangle Poppy Fields? Get Real! Our military has only defended Imperialism since the end of WWII. Misguided “patriotism” is a very dangerous thing.

      • Alan May 5, 2017, 9:36 am

        So are misguided claims of “Imperialism”, and comments that are more revisionist history than fact.
        Are you saying that the 1st Gulf war wasn’t to liberate Kuwait?? Saddam was a “manufactured” enemy?
        Based on what? With that approach, I could claim that Hitler was just that, due to France’s insistence of bankrupting Germany after WW1, and creating the atmosphere that gave rise to fascism.
        Don’t get me started on Korea.
        While true that many wars were wars of ‘convenience’ to our Govt., placing them all in the same basket shows a glib view of world politics, and makes me question your claims.

        • Robert May 5, 2017, 10:08 am

          You’d better hurry down to the recruiter’s office and sign up.
          The USG needs more cannon fodder for its obvious wars of aggression.

          • Jerry May 5, 2017, 11:26 am

            If you’re not a supporter of the military to even a small degree, why are you here? Do you even take note of the irony of talking smack from the privacy of your little safe space (only possible due to the actions of said military)? Move along ingrate.

        • ILL WILL May 5, 2017, 2:50 pm

          Haha yes Saddam was a manufactured enemy absolutely…put into power only to be set up later when it benefits the military industrial complex and foreign banking powers. Please, everyone…re-research all of your “history” as it is all propaganda. To understand Propaganda (the executive arm of the invisible govt) read Edward Bernays.

      • Dewey May 5, 2017, 9:55 am

        This generally isn’t the place where I expect to find sensible comments. Good on you DaveB!

      • rich May 5, 2017, 10:36 am

        Nice to see a comment that is based on reality.

      • gary sheldon May 5, 2017, 11:32 am

        Maybe you should move to Russia, or join the peace loving folks in some less “imperialistic” corner of this globe. Many would rather live in the U.S.A. than anywhere else. This is a fallen world and heaven will not be on this earth any time soon. Your bong inspired utopia will only exist in your (empty) cranial cavity. God cares about you and every person topside of this earth and He may well have a special place in His Heart for the patriotic American service man or woman. Pray for these dear people and their Christian Chaplains every day.

        • Dewey May 5, 2017, 11:03 pm

          You talk about a magical imaginary friend and have the temerity to call other people empty-headed? That’s a good one!

      • Thomas Acquinas May 5, 2017, 12:55 pm

        After reading posts like this, and others of the same bent, I fear we are lost as a nation. Lock and load, keep your head down, and clear the wire.

        • Scott in Atlanta May 8, 2017, 2:08 pm

          I keep my powder dry for a reason. These left-wing fools make it clear why. We are no longer a nation, but a physical location where two groups of drastically different peoples live together, but not for much longer. The “tolerant” left, haters of all who don’t bow to their weird vision of reality, which has no relationship with the real world, pushes harder and harder, becomes more and more violent, insists more and more that if you aren’t them, why … you should just be dead. The breaking point approaches. When the point arrives, war erupts. I thank God, Uncle Sam and the 2nd Amendment for the skills, know-how, guts and hardware to be able to protect not only myself, but my friends and family from these psychotic, brainwashed zombies who take their marching orders from George Soros and are too stupid to realize it. These precious snowflakes may find they, like real snowflakes, melt when it gets hot. It’s one thing to gutlessly put a mask on and march around with a bunch of fellow nuts, bullying people you outnumber and shouting down people simply trying to share ideas. It’s quite another when you’re mano a mano on the battlefield, no matter how many video games you’ve played all night long that pretend to “simulate” battle (ha ha ha to that). No safe spaces there, precious snowflakes.

  • Will Drider May 4, 2017, 5:34 pm

    R.I.P. Spc Clayton.
    Photos should have been submitted for consideration of the Pulitzer Prize for Photography and the International Photographic Awards to name a few places of recognition.

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