Justin Brannan's Lyrics Helped an Afghan War Vet Survive

The founder of Indecision and Most Precious Blood reflects on the award-winning war photo that captured his lyrics from over a decade ago.

US Army Infantryman Kyle Hockenberry, photographed by Laura Rauch.

Tattoos have always been linked to conflict. In the 18th century, British explorer and cartographer Captain James Cook returned to London with a crew of sailors who had been inked up by natives from the South Pacific. Today, soldiers all over the Middle East mark their bodies with tattoos to commemorate fallen comrades, mark divisions and units, and remind them of their loved ones back home.

This is an image of 19-year-old US Army Infantryman Kyle Hockenberry being treated following an explosion that cost him both of his legs and one arm. The photo was taken for a military newspaper, and went on to win photographer Laura Rauch an SPJ award. Tattooed across Hockenberry's ribcage are the words "For Those I Love, I Will Sacrifice." These are lyrics from "Hallowed Be Thy Name," a track from Indecision's 1998 record To Live And Die In New York City.

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