A senior Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee called the Associated Press' decision to circulate a photograph of wounded soldier in Afghanistan "truly appalling."

The photo was taken of Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland, Maine who died on August 14 after being struck by a rocket propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan.

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) echoed the sentiments of Defense Secretary Robert Gates who wrote a letter to AP President Thomas Curley saying "your lack of compassion and common sense in choosing to put this image of their maimed and stricken child on the front page of multiple American newspapers is appalling."

The ninth-term Republican tweeted on Friday:

This truly is appalling. http://www.politico.com/new...

Bernard's father called the AP on Wednesday to protest their decision to publish the photo.

"We understand Mr. Bernard's anguish. We believe this image is part of the history of this war. The story and photos are in themselves a respectful treatment and recognition of sacrifice," responded AP senior managing editor John Daniszewski.