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thedrifter
07-16-03, 07:06 AM
Local Marine graces Time book cover

BY JERRY DAVICH
Times Staff Writer

Before Operation Iraqi Freedom began, Chris Morawska told his family to keep an eye on Time magazine.

A Time reporter and photographer were embedded with Morawska's Marine infantry unit, reporting and photographing its historic march into Baghdad. Morawska figured he just might show up in print. Of course his family bought every issue, searching for images of their household war hero. Weeks passed, then months. His mug never showed. Not even a quote.

Months later, after Morawska returned to the United States from the front lines, they got a call.

"Hey, Dad, guess what?" the 22-year-old Merrillville High School graduate asked. One of Morawska's buddies showed him the new book, "21 Days to Baghdad: Photos and Dispatches from the Battlefield," (Time Inc. 2003), from Time editors. The coffee table collector's edition chronicles the historic battle to liberate Baghdad.

Guess which U.S. soldier graces the book's front cover -- the entire cover?

"My buddies tell me they can't believe Time put my ugly (expletive) on their book cover," said Morawska on Monday from Twentynine Palms, a Marine base in southern California.

"But it's cool," the Marine lance corporal said. And he swears there isn't a copy of the book tucked away somewhere in his duffel bag.

"Nah, my dad said he bought one for me," Morawska said.

Actually, George Morawska and his girlfriend, Jackie Jones, bought a half-dozen copies of the book at their neighborhood Barnes & Noble. The store plans on ordering more today, a spokeswoman said.

"We bought them out," said George, a Navy veteran who works at U.S. Steel in Gary.

"Of all the photos taken, we couldn't believe that Chris' photo was the one chosen for the cover," Jones said.

The cover photo was taken before the war even began, during desert training exercises in Kuwait, said Morawska, who returned to the United States in mid-May.

"I remember them taking the photos, but then I forgot about it," said Morawska, who went to Kuwait in January.

Morawska, a history buff, plans on returning home after his four years are up. He plans on teaching history, as well as being a part of it.

"Now I can just show people and say, 'See, I was there,'" he said.

While Morawska was visiting home in early June, his brother Michael left for Marine boot camp, following in his big brother's footsteps and all that.

Michael, who's 20, now has large shoes -- not to mention an empty coffee table -- to fill.

Jerry Davich can be reached at jdavich@nwitimes.com or (219) 933-3376.

http://www.thetimesonline.com/content/articles/2003/07/15/news/lake_county/88cbcabb694ea90b86256d6400101c31.jpg

Photo provided Chris Morawska, center, the 22-year-old Merrillville High School graduate that graces the cover of the Time book, is photographed while at boot camp. A Time reporter and photographer were embedded with Morawska's Marine infantry unit.

http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2003/07/15/news/lake_county/88cbcabb694ea90b86256d6400101c31.txt


Sempers,

Roger
:marine: