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Reporter Spends 101 Days with 101st Airborne
Defend America News ^ | Capt. Lyn Graves

Posted on 07/03/2006 2:31:33 PM PDT by SandRat

Photo, caption below.
Shelby Monroe, a reporter embedded with 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division in Iraq, stands in front of an overturned truck that had been found filled with explosives near Tal Afar, Iraq. Courtesy photo by Shelby Monroe
Reporter Spends 101 Days with 101st Airborne
Tennessee reporter embeds with 101st Airborne to report on soldiers' stories.
By U.S. Army Capt. Lyn Graves
133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
KIRKUK, Iraq, July 3, 2006 -- Spending 101 days with the 101st Airborne Division in the heat of north-central Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom is not what some journalists would call a good assignment, but for one embedded reporter, spending time with the “Screaming Eagle” soldiers was exactly what she wanted.

"I think you have to blame the media for what they report. People only get two types of stories: death and scandals, and that really doesn’t reflect the experience people are having over here. Too often the media let’s the bad news take center stage."
Shelby Monroe

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to see what’s really going on and to see what it’s like to be a soldier,” said Shelby Monroe, who is writing “101 Days with the 101st Airborne Division” for the Milan Mirror Exchange, based in Milan, Tenn.

Monroe said that she and the newspaper’s editor agreed that she would focus on what the soldiers are accomplishing.
“This has been easy, there are a lot of good news stories that the soldiers are doing,” said Monroe.

Monroe said that she tries to stay neutral while preparing a story, but admits to having some pre-conceived ideas before coming to Iraq. However, she said that she was mistaken about some of these ideas.

“I oversimplified the war and what was going on,” said Monroe. “I am surprised at how dedicated the soldiers are toward doing their jobs well.”

Before she deployed as an embedded reporter she thought that poor morale or being homesick would have taken its toll, but she is impressed with the soldiers ability to do their job competently while missing home.

“The soldiers seem to separate how they feel, and being homesick doesn’t affect the way they perform their jobs,” said Monroe.

She said she respects the soldiers for the physically demanding job they do.

During her first few weeks with the soldiers, Monroe said there was some resistance to her, but people gradually warmed up to her.

“When you ride around in a Humvee, you bond with the soldiers.”

Before this deployment, Monroe had no military experience and very little exposure to the military.

“I’m almost opposite of a military person -- I’m not organized, I question authority, but I thought it would be a challenge to keep up,” said Monroe.

Monroe thought there would be a common personality among soldiers but was surprised to find a great diversity among the ranks.

“There are lots of different personalities; people with different passions and abilities,” said Monroe.

Prior to this mission, Monroe was an English teacher at Husson College, a small college in Maine, and also owned a bookstore. She interrupted a master’s degree program to come to Iraq.

Monroe believes the American public does not know the whole truth about the war in Iraq.

“People don’t know half of what’s going on,” she explained. “There’s so much background they need to understand.

“I think you have to blame the media for what they report. People only get two types of stories: death and scandals, and that really doesn’t reflect the experience people are having over here. Too often the media let’s the bad news take center stage.”



TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 101; 101st; airborne; days; iraq; reporter; spends

1 posted on 07/03/2006 2:31:36 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 91B; HiJinx; Spiff; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; Grampa Dave; ...

By the end I think this reporterette may finally have got it, or at least the start of it if her liberal friends don't re-educate her to the dark side.


2 posted on 07/03/2006 2:33:21 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

I am so pleased to see something positive written about the extraordinary Screamin' Eagles:)

Thanks for posting this today SandRat..

(Screamin' Eagle Mom)


3 posted on 07/03/2006 2:35:38 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: SandRat

BTTT


4 posted on 07/03/2006 2:37:05 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. A. Lincoln)
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To: Rakkasan1; TexKat; pissant

Eagle ping:)


5 posted on 07/03/2006 2:37:16 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: SandRat
“I think you have to blame the media for what they report. People only get two types of stories: death and scandals, and that really doesn’t reflect the experience people are having over here. Too often the media let’s the bad news take center stage.”

Ruh roh. She's gone native.

No wonder the suits at MSM Central don't like embedding.

6 posted on 07/03/2006 2:38:17 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: Allegra

Bump!


7 posted on 07/03/2006 2:38:53 PM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: SandRat

Nice. And many thanks, SandRat, for your efforts to keep us informed of the good news, too.


8 posted on 07/03/2006 2:39:43 PM PDT by hsalaw
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To: mewzilla

The suits don't like embedding because their precious stooges learn the Truth and the suits can't handle the truth.


9 posted on 07/03/2006 2:39:46 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: hsalaw

My little effort to support the troops and get the truth out.


10 posted on 07/03/2006 2:40:33 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Good post. At least a few seem to get it.


11 posted on 07/03/2006 2:40:52 PM PDT by jazusamo (DIANA IREY for Congress, PA 12th District: Retire murtha.)
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To: Incorrigible

Monroe believes the American public does not know the whole truth about the war in Iraq.




Uhmmm, really?


12 posted on 07/03/2006 2:40:54 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: SandRat
Suspicious comment.

Monroe thought there would be a common personality among soldiers but was surprised to find a great diversity among the ranks.

Would like to see some of her articles, Post Iraq.

13 posted on 07/03/2006 2:40:57 PM PDT by rocksblues (Liberals will stop at nothing.)
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To: SandRat
Yup. I think embedding is a fine idea :)

And good for Ms. Monroe for being willing to go and for using her noggin :)

14 posted on 07/03/2006 2:42:40 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: SandRat
If she honestly reports what really happened, the MSM would have no further use for her. Accurate reporting doesn't fit their game plan.
15 posted on 07/03/2006 2:42:42 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: SandRat

Great article. If you haven't served you probably won't ever get it, but the next best thing is to meet as many military people as you can. Anyone who can do that and come away unimpressed simply isn't paying attention. And I am shocked by how many ostensible "experts" on the military have never done either.


16 posted on 07/03/2006 2:46:31 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: SandRat
"I think you have to blame the media for what they report. People only get two types of stories: death and scandals, and that really doesn’t reflect the experience people are having over here. Too often the media let’s the bad news take center stage."

don't forget when you get back that you are part of an industry that has hurt our troops and possibly committed treason. hopefully, you'll do something about it.

17 posted on 07/03/2006 2:53:48 PM PDT by alrea
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult
She's not exactly your typical dead tree media reporterette. She's a teacher and the paper that sponsored her trip has a circulation of about 5000. She isn't pro who's hoping to grace the halls of the New York Times one day. In other words, she has nothing to lose by accurately reporting what she sees.
18 posted on 07/03/2006 3:08:42 PM PDT by Redcloak (Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.)
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To: SandRat

She's not half bad looking.


19 posted on 07/03/2006 3:10:05 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: SandRat

Is it just me, or does the truck look photoshopped in?


20 posted on 07/03/2006 3:11:14 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido
A little Rubinesque for my taste when I was young and single
21 posted on 07/03/2006 3:15:05 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Larry Lucido

It's you.


22 posted on 07/03/2006 3:15:48 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

I figured it was the flak vest. They always make you look like you're carrying an extra 20 pounds.


23 posted on 07/03/2006 3:18:18 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido
"Is it just me, or does the truck look photoshopped in?"

It is not you. I thought the same thing.

24 posted on 07/03/2006 3:26:54 PM PDT by Spunky ("Everyone has a freedom of choice, but not of consequences.")
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To: SandRat; All

Soldiers Help Save Life of Wounded Student
By U.S. Army Pfc. Paul Ondik
4th Brigade Combat Team
101st Airborne Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE RUSTAMIYAH, Iraq, June 30, 2006 — U.S.
soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 4th
Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, currently working with
the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Infantry Division, Multinational
Division–Baghdad, were able to provide desperately needed medical
attention to an Iraqi citizen who was close to death June 17 at
Forward Operating Base Rustamiyah.

Hiba Mohammed Abdul Ridha was injured by shrapnel during a terrorist
mortar attack on her college May 2.

The injury was unable to heal because of a preexisting lupus
infection. Ridha's father, Sheik Raheem Shareef Jabratallah, a
tribal leader in Fedaliyah, contacted the 3rd Battalion, 67th
Armored Regiment, in a last-ditch effort to save his daughter's life.

The family brought Ridha directly to the gates of Forward Operating
Base Rustamiyah, said U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Joshua Prentice, battle
captain, Battalion Tactical Operations Center. Ridha's condition was
assessed at the gate, and it was clear she was in need of immediate
assistance. Because of lupus-like symptoms, it was determined that
the leg was in danger, Prentice said.

"Six weeks ago, she was in class at her college and there was a
mortar attack. She received a minor injury," said U.S. Army Capt.
David McCaughrin, fire support officer and civil affairs officer-in-
charge for the battalion.

"Unable to heal, it was only a matter of time before the wound
became gangrenous," McCaughrin said.

Gangrene, once started is usually irreversible. In this case it
progressed so fast Ridha's life was in danger.

"The girl definitely would have died," said Lt. Col. Mark Bertolini,
commander, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment. "Certainly in a
week or two, and probably within three or four days."

Ridha had several medical problems. Gangrene was one, but liver
failure was another, separate problem, said U.S. Army Dr. (Capt.)
Michael Curtis, battalion surgeon.

"When she arrived, she was unstable, and we were able to stabilize
her," said Curtis, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Here, we were able to have our female medics and our female
providers care for her," Curtis said. The 3rd Battalion, 67th
Armored Regiment, took pains to accommodate Ridha in a manner
sensitive to Iraqi cultural sensitivities.

"As it turned out, once we got her in here, it was obvious her leg
actually should have been amputated a couple of weeks ago," said
Bertolini. "Obviously, her family was very grateful for the care."

At this point, the case no longer focused on the loss of a limb;
Ridha's life was in danger. Third Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment
personnel made sure that females were tasked to transport her to the
aid station, and that only females were in the room where she was
cared for, said McCaughrin.

Ridha remained in the care of 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment,
for 24 hours. The soldiers contacted U.S. Army Dr. (Maj.) Aaron
Baker, brigade surgeon, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne
Division, at which point she was medevaced to the 10th Combat
Support Hospital and then sent to Medical City Hospital for further
treatment.

"We remained culturally sensitive, and when we do that, it shows the
local Iraqis that we care about their well-being," said Bertolini.
Giving this type of aid demonstrates to the local populace that the
U.S. Army is willing to provide scarce resources to help them,
Bertolini said.

Jabratallah is a good friend of Bertolini's, as well an extremely
influential member of the community, McCaughrin said.

"He has been a big part of our security here," said Bertolini. "One
story like this carries a long way. It wouldn't surprise me if a
couple of thousand people hear about this in the next few days."


25 posted on 07/03/2006 3:47:51 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: SandRat

Obviously a biased Lib who was surprised when she found the truth about the war. Good for her honesty though. Rock on Troops!!

Pray for W and Our Amazing Troops


26 posted on 07/03/2006 3:52:29 PM PDT by bray (Hey Zaqueeri, say hello to Hitler, Stalin and Mohamhead)
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To: SE Mom; SandRat

Thank you SE Mom for the ping. Thank you SandRat for the thread. God bless our troops!


27 posted on 07/03/2006 3:55:04 PM PDT by TexKat
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To: SandRat

A tip of my hat to any reporter that is willing to spend that much time with my old unit....she is some special lady and I appreciate her willingness to stay and report things as she sees them. Honest to God, we need more like this lady, and I hope we get them soon.


28 posted on 07/03/2006 5:10:38 PM PDT by geezerwheezer (get up boys, we're burnin' daylight!!!)
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To: SandRat
Most of these civilian reporters could use a block of instruction on how to properly wear their helmets.

And what's up with bright blue body armor??

29 posted on 07/03/2006 8:48:08 PM PDT by Norman Arbuthnot
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To: Norman Arbuthnot

To Identify them as Urinalists.


30 posted on 07/04/2006 7:59:31 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Thanks for posting this.


31 posted on 07/05/2006 8:47:32 PM PDT by ajolympian2004
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To: SE Mom

One of my brothers was in the Screaming Eagles in the early 60s..

32 posted on 07/05/2006 8:56:42 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi --- Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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