Friday, July 25, 2008
A couple of days ago, one of my NCO's and I, along with another soldier from the Squadron, made our usual trek to the DFAC for lunch. We got there just before it was closing, so there was plenty of space for us to spread out. I was the first to get my food and decided to sit down at an empty table. While making small talk with my "entourage", I noticed a man in civilian clothes seated at the table next to me. He was speaking in a British accent and conversing with some American soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division. As I scanned the rest of the table, I saw more soldiers and two more civilians with them. One of the civilians looked strangely familiar to me, but I just couldn't place his face.I finally convinced myself that the gentleman was a reporter, but I wasn't sure with what network. For those of you who don't already know, I have a slight obsession with watching the evening news. I think I got it from my Dad because I can remember watching the news every night just before eating dinner. Ever since then, I've watched it. Dad will tell you that it's not like it used to be when he was growing up, but it still provides an accurate synopsis of the major events of the day. Ok, back to my story. I had a gut feeling he was NBC, but wasn't completely sure because I flip back and forth so much that I couldn't quite remember. Finally, as he was leaving I summoned up the courage (after getting a quick glance at his id card that said MEDIA) and asked him who he worked for. He said, "I'm Ned Colt with NBC News." "That's what I thought, Sir. I watch the Nightly News with Brian Williams back home and I thought I recognized you." (Here's his bio http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3687158)I didn't get a chance to find out what he was doing with the soldiers, but as I was walking through the parking lot, I saw them all leaving together and deduced that he were going out on patrols to get their story. Ned Colt has been a familiar face reporting on things here in a Iraq. Along with many others, these journalists spend countless hours trying to bring the story of things on the ground back home to the rest of the country. I'm sure many of you remember when Bob Woodard of ABC News was hit by an IED a couple of years ago, losing his longtime cameraman and friend, and this isn't the only time a reporter has been caught in the line of fire. I know many people might think these journalists are stupid, or crazy, but one could almost say the same thing about anyone who joins the military, knowing they're going into combat. Regardless of your political slant, or view of the media, these people risk their lives to inform you of what is happening to your friends, family, and neighbors on a daily basis. Some might do it for fame, fortune, adventure, or excitement. But you have believe that some do it because they firmly believe that everyone should know the reality of war, good or bad. I admire these men and women for their willingness to leave a cushy office back in the States and ride around with soldiers in the middle of a combat zone, not knowing what lies ahead, in search of the truth about life here on the ground.For those of you who believe that ALL journalists are self-aggrandizing careerists with an agenda they are trying to push, let me know ask you something. Would you come half way across the world to a combat zone and risk your life day in and day out just so you could prove a point? I didn't think so.Take care and hope everyone is enjoying their summer!