One of the hallmarks of Operation Iraqi Freedom is the visual signature it failed to leave behind. The Vietnam War was a media event that littered America’s cultural landscape with iconic images, yet it seems the chilling atmosphere created by the Bush-era ban on showing the coffins of dead soldiers, along with accusations of the military’s throttling of reports coming out of the conflict, combined to make the whole affair feel all but invisible. But that doesn’t mean amazing pictures weren’t being taken along the way. Stacy Pearsall’s images of the war are intimate and intense. An Air Force combat photographer at the age of 17, Pearsall became the only woman to win the NPPA Military Photographer of the Year competition twice. During her three tours in Iraq, Pearsall was wounded twice and earned the Bronze Star for heroic actions under fire.