Miner


Dustin Ludwig, 25, of Nicktown, a miner who works in the Cherry Tree mine, has a college degree in criminology but chose to enter the coal mines instead because he makes better money.

Vehicle Accident


Joe Chau, 22, of Shaler holds his broken nose after being involved in a vehicle accident along Ridge Avenue and Arch Street on the North Side when a Pittsburgh School Police van struck his Nissan. The driver of the police vehicle was taken transported to a hospital for injuries.

Madden



This past weekend I took my son, Madden, to the Westmoreland County Fair. While he wasn't so impressed with the goats he did enjoy the tractors.

Pittsburgh Skyline


I stopped up on the West End Overlook the other day and couldn't resist shooting yet another skyline shot. Pittsburgh has one of those skylines you never get tired of.

Daisies


I spent some time waiting in a flower garden for an assignment to begin and played around shooting the flowers in different ways. This was one shot I liked.

Thick Bikes




Chris Beech, 38, owner of Thick Bikes on the South Side works on a bike at his shop. Beech got his bachelor's degree in art history, worked as a carpenter for a while and then settled on building custom bikes and various art projects as his career.

Stefanie & Chris Wedding




Some photos from Stefanie and Chris' wedding in Pittsburgh on Saturday, August 2, 2008.

Religious Icons








As I've said in previous entries I've always been intrigued by religious icons and here are a few from the last few weeks.

Sgt. Ryan Baumann's Ride to Arlington Slideshow

Sgt. Ryan Baumann's Funeral

I am so honored to have been able to attend Sgt. Ryan Baumann's funeral this past weekend and to have the opportunity to meet so many of his fellow soldiers, friends and family members. These are a few photos from the last few days. I hope to update this posting in the coming days, but wanted to post a few photos to share with everyone. To Lauren, Bob, Cindy, Gary, Christina, and everyone else who welcomed me and treated me so great I thank you for allowing me to be part of everything. Meeting all of you I can see how Ryan became and was such a great person. Seeing the thousands of people who lined the roads waving flags, saluting and holding signs, he not only died a hero but reminded all of us about what patriotism means and what our country is all about. As I drove along in the funeral procession to Arlington National Cemetery and watched mile after mile of people, I was so proud to be an American and I thank Ryan for that.

















Sgt. Ryan Baumann

I've learned a lot as a photojournalist in the last few days. To often we take for granted what we do. I have been very blessed in my career to cover many amazing stories, to be behind the scenes at events, to be in the company of presidents and celebrities, to be on the sidelines of great games, to travel to faraway lands--Cuba, India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, to be a firsthand witness to history--the crash of United Flight 93, the Sago Mine Disaster, elections in Pakistan, but no story or work I've even done has touched me as much as covering the war in Afghanistan. Since I've returned and our stories, videos, and photos have run in the newspaper and online, I've received so many touching emails from soldiers and their families. One soldier's wife emailed to tell us that her two boys spotted their dad, Sgt. Lynch, in a video. She wrote, "Thank you so much . As soon as we pulled up the Tani Mission video my boys spotted their daddy right away. We've been watching him for about the last hour over and over. They love their daddy so much!!" An email from Ryan's mother reads, "My father who is 89 and served in WW II actually had tears in his eyes. He found a frame and is moving it from room to room so he can "always keep Ryan on [his] mind and in [his] prayers." As I said before, you can't imagine what comfort it brings." And another email from a soldier's wife reads, "THANK YOU for giving me the chance to see and know and small glimpse of his life right now." Of all the awards I've received in my career, there is nothing that compares to emails and letters such as these. With our jobs, as journalists, to often we are forced to move from one story to the next, but this story will linger with me for quite some time. I'm so happy that my photographs have provided so many with glimpses into their sons, husbands, dads, brothers, uncles, cousins, and friend's lives while serving in Afghanistan. In particular, I'm overwhelmed at the emails I've received from Sgt. Ryan Baumann's friends, family members and fellow soldiers. There are to many to mention but each one deeply touches me and humbles me. I wanted to share some more photos I took of Ryan while I was with his platoon in Afghanistan. He truly was a consummate soldier and American.






Top photo: Ryan stopping to check for IEDs along a road near Seneky. Second photo: Ryan with Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Horn locating wells on a mission in Legorah. Third photo: Ryan at a well with Afghans on a mission in Legorah. Fourth photo: Ryan (center) with Capt. Nick Howard (left) and Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Horn (right) on a mission near Seneky. Final photo: Ryan keeps a careful watch along a road on a recognizance mission.

Sgt. Ryan Baumann

I was deeply saddened today to hear that Sgt. Ryan Baumann, 24, of Great Mills, MD was killed in action on Friday in Afghanistan. I was fortunate to not only spend a couple of weeks in Afghanistan at a small combat outpost with Ryan and his platoon, but to get to know him as a person. He was a dedicated and respected soldier, but also he was deeply devoted to his fiance Lauren who he spoke so highly of and was so excited to marry early next year. My heart goes out to her as well as Ryan's father, Bob, mother, Cindy, and his family and friends. I know that nothing can ever fill the void in their hearts at the loss of Ryan, but hope they find comfort in knowing he died doing what he believed in. I am honored to have had the chance to meet Ryan and I will remain eternally grateful for his service and for his sacrifice.






Top photo: Ryan on a mission in Turqel. Second photo: Ryan on a recognizance mission near Seneky. Third photo: Ryan (at left) with Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Horn on a mission in Legarah. Fourth photo: Ryan joking around with an interpreter during a mission to Legarah. Final photo: Ryan leading a group of soldiers across a field on a mission in Legarah.

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About Me

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Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Justin Merriman, an award-winning photojournalist with the Tribune-Review, has spent more than a decade traveling the world to cover politics, wars, natural disasters and civil unrest. His work has appeared in leading national and international publications and he has received numerous top journalism awards. After covering the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – including the crash of United Flight 93 in Shanksville – Merriman committed to chronicling the U.S. military and its War on Terror. He has followed this story across the US and into the war zones of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. He also has covered life in Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 2002, India’s efforts to eradicate polio, the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba in 2012, and in 2013, traveled to Egypt to cover the anniversary of the revolution and to Rome to document the conclave that elected Pope Francis. Merriman graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2000 with a degree in English Writing. In 2009, the university awarded him its prestigious Alumnus of Distinction award. Merriman lives in Oakmont with his fiancĂ©, Stephanie Strasburg.

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