It was about the same time Region 8 Director Kevin Martin asked me if I would like to run the Region 8 blog. My name is Anita Baca and I am a multimedia team leader and picture editor at the San Antonio Express-News.

While I was wondering what on earth to blog about, I was also wondering why Sig Christenson, the Express-News military writer, who was supposed to be on vacation, was covering a soldier’s funeral in New Mexico, way out of our coverage area.

I only wondered about Sig’s exploits because I was asked to find a photographer to cover the funeral of Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Warren Westbrook, a career soldier who died on Oct. 7 after being badly wounded in Afghanistan. He was to be buried in Shiprock, N.M. on Oct. 16. No problem, I thought, I’ll check the NPPA’s member directory. The directory has five listing in Farmington. I started with Xavier Mascareñas of the Daily Times because I liked his name. The NPPA member directory is my secret weapon, it has saved me many times.

When Xavier answered his phone he assured me they would be covering the funeral and they would move the pictures on the AP wire. And he was true to his word. I scanned the wires a few days later wondering what was taking so long knowing full well Xavier had a full day of shooting. He was probably going to file late he had warned. What I was not expecting was one of the best funeral pictures I’ve seen in a long time finally move across the wire.

It was indeed a picture worth waiting for.

Check out the Daily Times photographers new blog, Behind the Lens.

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