Yunghi Kim could be called a hero of photography on several counts. She has covered many of the great political and social stories of the past decade and a half -- the famine in Somalia in 1992; the Rwandan genocide in 1994; the Kosovar refugee crisis in 2000; the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. She was nominated for this portfolio not because of the major conflicts on her résumé, however, but for the way she turns stories into missions. Her epic project on Korean "comfort women" of World War II, made during the 1990s, remains a touchstone in modern personal photojournalism; a more recent series, on the plight of widows in the male-dominated society of Afghanistan, reflects her capacity to immerse herself in a culture and a cause. For Kim, who shoots for Contact Press Images, every story is a chance to become intimately involved with her subjects. Here, Washington Post staff writer Wil Haygood pays tribute to Kim by recalling the story that established her as a photojournalist of singular dedication.