Mortar Attack on PX

E-mail Steve

Oct. 15,  2004 5:35 AM

I was in the PX at the Marine base in Fallujah for the second time that day. I knew everything in there. There was nothing I wanted to buy, but I just liked going inside. It was bright and filled with people buying things. I was looking at a DVD television series, an old NBC show called "Profiler." As I reached for the box there was a loud explosion and the PX shook. Everyone stopped shopping for a moment, looked at each other, then went back to shopping. A Filipino worker came through a service door with a cart and looked at everyone and shook his head.

I bought the DVD and a "Men's Health" magazine. On the way back to my tent there were more mortars. One sounded close, so I dove near a concrete blast barrier. A siren went off. There were two casualties. The tent would not be a good place to be during a mortar attack. I found a place where two walls of a concrete building came together and sat on the ground between them. If
a mortar hit there it would be hard to get me. Getting low was important during a mortar attack. I opened "Men's Health." There was an article on chins, how men neglected their chins. Some flies landed on my face. It was hot on the ground. My tent was air-conditioned, but not safe. I held out in the heat about half an hour, then went back to the tent.

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You are one good reporter. You have been in some of the most dangerous situations and you are always so brave. You have many fans out there who love to watch you work, including me. I'm sure you have a few fans in those Marines. That was such a kind thing to do and I'm sure it meant a lot to the Marines when you let them use your cell phone. They won't forget you and neither will I. Stay safe out there and remember, you're with the best!

Take care,
Kim (Lake Charles, LA)


That was a darn fine thing you did for those Marines.  I spent a lot of years in the Army and 9 months of that was spent in and around Saudi during the first Gulf War.  The unit I was attached to didn’t see anything that would pass as phone for a little more then three months. So, I can tell you that for a reporter, (even though at the time we didn’t care too much for reporters) you would have been considered an angel sent from God if you had produced a cell phone for us to call home.  You should consider yourself a hero!

Respectfully, Doc (Annapolis, MD)

I recently started reading your blog and "Better Than Sex" left me dazed.  You wouldn't think that a simple phone call to one's parents would have so much meaning... it's astounding to think that these guys are such softies at heart.  You and the brave soldiers fighting in Iraq have many, many supporters here in the U.S., myself and my family included.  Just wanted you to know.
Tabetha (Marietta)


Thanks for that story. I'm no longer in the Army, but I have many friends who still are. Several of whom are in Iraq and Afganistan as I type this.

Again, thanks for the story and thanks for the use of that phone.

— David (Tampa, FL)


Just want you to know that we eagerly await your reports and admire you and Col. North and the other brave reporters that go into the field. It really is where the rubber meets the road and the BS goes out the window. Thanks for your efforts and take care of yourself as best you can.

— Ed


Yyou are doing a great job and this military family says, "thank you." All of you in harm's way have our prayers and love.

— Sharon (OH)

Dearest Steve,

What an early morning mix, a few bombs outside your hotel room while you're trying to make your smoothie. Wow!  You are one tough dude and seem to remain calm and keep your senses about you in the midst of confusion and chaos!  I have watched many of your war reports from Iraq. You have consistently been a brave and strong reporter in the face of the worst situations and you always bring the news to us with a great mix of passion, accuracy and humility about your work and yourself.  

— Linda (Flat Rock, MI)

Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.