For heroism in battle, the aerial combat photojournalist won an Air Force Commendation Medal With Valor during her first month in Iraq in 2003 and was named military photographer of the year.
Here’s why the 26-year-old Pearsall has been decorated:
- She volunteered to document the tent city of Abu Ghraib seconds after a grenade attack hit coalition forces. She threaded through the uprising, photographing it. Her work allowed division leaders to review what happened and plan ahead.
- She has supplied more than 8,000 photos of combat scenes, historical sites and other places.
- She acted quickly - and bravely - as an improvised explosive device (IED) sprayed shrapnel while Pearsall was documenting a school opening. She jumped out of her vehicle, checked on others’ safety and began taking pictures.
-- Adapted from “Women at War,” Della de LaFuente, Pink.