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December 17, 2003
Interview With Soldiers Involved In Saddam's CaptureBy Greyhawk
GOOD MORNING AMERICA ABC TV DECEMBER 15, 2003
Interview With Soldiers Involved In Saddam's Capture
DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: We have got our satellite up and once again, we go to Specialist John Iverson and Specialist Ryan Brescher. And there they are joining us from Iraq. And, as I said, we know this is a good morning for the two of you.
Specialist Iverson, I'm going to start with you. As you are heading in, you've got your night vision goggles on, you are heading into this compound. Did you know you were going for Saddam Hussein?
SPECIALIST JOHN IVERSON, DRIVER, 4TH DIVISION, 1ST BRIGADE: We had been informed that that was a possible target that we were going after. We always keep our minds open because we never actually know if what we are going after is there.
SAWYER: (Off Camera) And Specialist Brescher, were your, were your hearts pounding?
SPECIALIST RYAN BRESCHER, GUNNER, 4TH DIVISION, 1ST BRIGADE: Yeah, we were a little excited about the events that could take place. It's a big event. He's a man we've been looking for for a long time. So, yeah, we were, we were pumped up about it.
SAWYER: (Off Camera) Now, Specialist Brescher, was that luck that somebody saw the spider hole or did you all have a tip to go specifically to that place?
BRESCHER: Actually, that was information that we weren't, we weren't given, we were really told of the area, not really the -specifics on the information.
SAWYER: (Off Camera) And Specialist Brescher, I know that through your night vision goggles, you did see Saddam Hussein being pulled out of that hole. We've heard he was disoriented, that he had bumped his head even. Could you tell, was he wobbling around, did he seem off-balance?
BRESCHER: Actually, yes, he did. The terrain was also, the field's a little torn up. But, yes, as they, as they were escorting him out, he was very disoriented. Couldn't tell what was going on.
SAWYER: (Off Camera) And Specialist Iverson, how long did you have, what kind of notice did you have before mounting this operation and how prepared were you for a real fight to the finish?
IVERSON: Well, when we originally started, we had been on standby for, I don't know, I'd have to say maybe about two or three hours. And we rolled out for link up with special operation forces. At that point in time, it just happened one right after another, it seemed like it was going in an instant. I couldn't really put a timetable on it, though.
SAWYER: (Off Camera) And Specialist Iverson, we heard that some of you did light cigars afterwards. Was there a moment of celebration?
IVERSON: I'd have to say that there was a momentary celebration after it was done, once we had officially been told what happened. I couldn't honestly say about the whole cigars, but we did celebrate a little bit.
SAWYER: (Off Camera) Well, Specialist Brescher, I just wonder, have had you a chance to talk to your mom and your wife about your role in this?
BRESCHER: I actually haven't yet. I was able to send a small e-mail to them, but I haven't, haven't been able to talk to them in person or on the phone yet and let them know what actually went on.
SAWYER: (Off Camera) Well, we have a little, we have a little surprise for you right now. And I want to say we tried to get both of your families up, but we managed to get through to Carol Brescher, your mom. And to Brianne, your wife. And they are joining us by phone this morning. Mrs. Brescher, Carol Brescher, can you hear me?
CAROL BRESCHER: Yes, I can.
SAWYER: Do you want to say something to your son this morning?
CAROL BRESCHER: Ryan, I'm so proud of you. I'm proud and I'm, I'm glad you're safe. And, I'm, I'm glad the Iraqi people can be free now.
SAWYER: (Off Camera) And Brianne, do you have something to add?
BRIANNE BRESCHER: I love you. I love you and I'm, and I'm so happy that you are safe, too, honey.
SAWYER: (Off Camera) And Specialist Brescher, it is your turn to talk back.
BRESCHER: I love you, baby. I did it for you guys. I'm over here, I fight the fight everyday. And it's paid off. We, we did what we came here to do. And we continue to do it everyday. And, baby, it's for you. It's, it's for the family. I love you guys. I'm proud to do what I do. And I'm glad I was here. I'm glad I was, was able to take part in this event. And I love you guys so much. I am so proud that I could do this for the country.
SAWYER: (Off Camera) Well, we're going to leave both of you on the phone, all three of you the phone and sign off. And I want you to know, Specialist Iverson, we're still dialing, and if we can get through, you bet you are going to get a chance to talk to your family this morning, too. And we just want to say, thank you from all of us back home.
CAROL BRESCHER: Thank you, Diane.
Posted by Greyhawk / December 17, 2003 3:10 PM | Permalink
GREYHAWK, the prime MILBLOGGER, has an INTERVIEW up with two of the soldiers involved in Saddam's capture. Powerful stuff. Thanks buddy, and hope to see you soon. In Ramstein, hopefully, not Landstuhl ;-) Read More
Well, things are begining to slow down in the world of the blogs this week. There's the holidays - shopping, carousing, family etc. And there's the flu that's keeping a lot of people down. Blackfive won't slow down too much Read More
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
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