A Son at War

As FOX News Live anchor David Asman has mentioned on air, his son is currently serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq.  You (FOX Fans) have asked about his status, so we caught up with David to find out what he's heard from his son, Felipe.  Here's what he had to say:

David Asman
We just got a letter from Felipe, who's with the Marine Task Force Tarawa. The letter was dated March 30, so it was written right in the middle of the action and we don't know where he's been since. For the first time since entering Iraq, he was seeing road signs pointing to Baghdad, so he assumed that was their destination. His particular assignment was guarding prisoners, about whom he had some sympathy. "Most of them weren't fighting for Saddam," he wrote. "They were forced to fight for their country. They simply had no choice. But they were told they'd be tortured and killed if caught, so they were amazed to find out we were providing them with better food and better medical treatment than their government was giving them. Some — those without family — were hoping they'd be sent to the States."

It's been hard to report on action in which Felipe has played a part. I'd always look hard at our reporters' shots from Marine units to see if I could spot Felipe. And whenever I'd report on a firefight in which Marines were killed, I'd be on a knife's edge wondering if there'd be a call waiting for me when I got home. Thank God, that call never came.

What did come was that incredible moment last Wednesday when the statue of Saddam was torn down in Baghdad. I was anchoring with Brigitte, Jon and Brit at the time, and I'm sure I felt exactly as all the families of service people in Iraq must have felt: Like a great weight had suddenly been lifted from my shoulders. Such incredible relief combined with the strongest pride and gratitude I've ever felt. Pride in Felipe and my country, and gratitude that he and other troops had been so well trained that they had come through an extraordinarily dangerous war with far fewer casualties than had been widely forecast. The war wasn't–and isn't–over. But that moment signified the end of the most dangerous period of hostilities and the beginning of a clear liberation for the people of Iraq.

Witnessing that liberation unfold in front of us and in front of the world was wonderful. I remarked at the end of that 3-hour period, during which we were sharing our thoughts as the statue came down, about something Felipe had said in one of his letters: "David," he wrote, "you're going to report on history; I'm going to make history." He made history that day, and he took me along for the ride.

If you want to read more about Felipe, you can read  an article I wrote about him last January in the Wall Street Journal.