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    ‘You get mixed emotions, that they would travel so far to look for work. Hundreds of miles through perils. The fence doesn’t really stop them. As long as they think there’s employment in the United States, they will continue to do that, just like anyone trying to better themselves for a better job.’

    The United States’ border with Mexico is nearly 2000 miles long and is blocked by numerous natural and man-made barriers. Reportage Featured Contributor Charles Ommanney journeyed along the border and met the residents, border patrol agents, and immigrants who pass back and forth across it. See his film: The Fence, Part 1 on MSNBC Photos.

    Image: After walking for days a Honduran man appears overwhelmed after being caught in a drainage ditch by Border Patrol. McAllen, TX. Photo by Charles Ommanney

    MCALLEN, TEXAS - A group of women and two unaccompanied children are detained on a levee. Exhausted and hungry, the group appeared relieved to be found. It turned out they had traveled from Guatemala and Honduras together.

    Photo by Charles Ommanney from the MSNBC film ‘The Fence.’

    Twelve-year-old Mariah Moffatt checks her guns before going out to train with her father, Brian. The Moffatts, from Overgaard, Arizona, appeared on the show ‘Doomsday Preppers,’ which chronicles the lives of people preparing for apocalyptic scenarios. 

    Photo by Charles Ommanney from American Gun Stories

    Time Magazine picked this portrait of Michael Bloomberg by Reportage contributor Charles Ommanney as one of their best of 2013. It appeared in their Oct. 21 issue with the article, “Bloomberg Unbound.” See more of Times’ favorite portraits from the year on Time Lightbox.

    (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images for Time)

    “It was important for me, in light of what has been going on in America with all of the mass shootings and ongoing gun debate, as a foreigner, to understand their love and why this was so important to them and why guns are so important to so many people in this country”

    Photographer Charles Ommanney criss crossed the country, meeting gun owners and learning why they choose to bear arms. See more from American Gun Stories on Reportage, and now online at msnbc.

    Take 1 Royal Caribbean cruise ship, add:

    40,000 gallons of beer

    2,000 screaming metal fans.

    42 bands playing black metal, death metal, folk metal, gothic metal, heavy metal, power metal, thrash metal, and Viking metal.

    The result is 70,000 Tons of Metal, a four-day cruise from Miami to Turks & Caicos with music blasting from 10am to 5am.

    See more Heavy Metal Cruise, by Charles Ommanney.

    Oil has often brought tumultuous change to the region under which it is discovered. Geologists and oil companies have long known that the Bakken oil field under North Dakota existed, but, until the development of efficient fracking technology, there was no cost-effective way of extracting it. That has changed, and so has Williston, ND. The deluge of oil workers arriving in town has caused a spike in crime and a severe housing shortage. Rental prices rival those in Manhattan, and workers sleep in their cars or in the local church. Despite this, the lure of high-paying jobs will likely continue to draw hordes to Williston.

    See more from Charles Ommanney’s ‘The Promised Land’ here.

    The term ‘Prepper’ refers to anyone who is preparing for the worst situations that may befall them: blackouts, food shortages, economic collapse, anarchy. Tim Ralston (top image) has become something of an icon among the Prepper community. He runs a successful business selling emergency supplies online, and has created a device he calls the Crovel: a swiss army knife shovel. He maintains a certain degree of secrecy - to meet with Ralston at his bunker in Arizona, the writer and photographer on this assignment were blindfolded, so as not to give away the specific location.

    See more from Preppers, by Charles Ommanney, here.

    KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 13, 2011: General David Petraeus and Lt. General John Allen share a lighthearted moment in the Situational Awareness Room at the ISAF compound, just before Petraeus officially handed over command in Afghanistan to Allen (Photo by Charles Ommanney).

    President Obama announced today that General Allen will retire rather than seek nomination as NATO supreme allied commander.  See more images of Allen and Petraeus by Charles Ommanney here.

    HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 16: A boy inspects a gun at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention on April 16, 2005, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)

    See more of Charles’s photos of gun culture in America, here.

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