The Helicopter Ride

Nov. 30, 2004 9:40 a.m.

Three flies currently in attack mode.

Bacon and eggs for breakfast, then a single-serving circular container of Cheerios with full-cream milk.

We flew here on a Chinook-46 from Baghdad. It took 48 hours to move from Baghdad to Ramadi — 70 miles.

Most of the seats were full on the helicopter. I stood in the back, wondering if I should just sit on a duffel bag. The Marine gunner walked back to me. When you talk on helicopters, or around helicopters, you lean your mouth right up to the guy's ear, pause for a second, and scream.

He leaned into me and screamed, "Sit the F down."

I sat down.

We arrived in a camp called Blue Diamond and went to a command office. Above the door was a white sheet of paper with a computer message printed on it:

"Label Your F-ing Water Bottle"

I read it a few times. Nothing shy about the F. It was a message that stung, that got through. Had I a water bottle, I'd be sure to keep it labeled.

E-mail Steve

Hi Steve,

My son is with the Fox 2/5 and I miss him a great deal. Thanks for hanging with our Marines and bringing news to the families. We really appreciate it. If you happen to see my son tell him I love him.

Proud Marine Mom

Dear Steve,

Good luck in Ramadi. My son, Clayton, is in 1st Platoon Echo Co. if you see him tell him his Dad loves him very much and is praying for all the Marines. You too. I look forward to your posts on the situation there.



Glad to hear you'll be reporting from Ramadi. My son, Sgt. Steve, is at Blue Diamond. We'll be watching close and hopefully can catch a glimpse of him.

Tell all the Marines we love them, we support them and stay safe. You're in good hands with the Marines in Ramadi.

Proud Mom of 2 Marines

HI Steve:

Thanks on behalf of hundreds of thousands of "news junkies" like myself who deeply appreciate your well-written stories and gripping on-camera reporting from Iraq. We know it takes tremendous courage and selflessness.

We also appreciate your family for being courageous with you.

Three cheers for Steve and his family

- Dean (Minneapolis, MN)

I am an office worker in Maine and the first thing I do every morning is look for your next blog and hope that there is one there! I read each line while holding my breath in anticipation of what it will hold. Your honesty and clarity is a window to a world I don't know. Thank you for opening the window and letting me see the war as it is. Be safe and God Bless!

— Michelle F.


My son is currently in Ramadi with 2/5 G Co. We appreciate you giving us the opportunity to hear and see our loved ones. For the families and loved ones back home, we also would like to hear the good side of what our loved ones are doing. We know that they are putting their lives on the line daily for freedom. Prayers for all in harms way.

— VPMM of Cpl Sean September


Its great to hear that the media is venturing into Ramadi. My husband, also Steve, is there and its so disappointing to watch the news over and over and never see the the 2 ID patch anywhere. Yet nearly 2 dozen soldiers from our brigade which is attached to 1st Marine have lost their lives in and around Ramadi. Thanks for taking the risk and going out to give us the rest of the story in Iraq.

— Marsha (Columbus, GA)


I'm glad to see that Fox News is back in Ramadi. I followed Col North's reports this summer from Ramadi with much interest when he was with the 2/4 knowing that my son and his Unit would be replacing them. My son is with the 2/5 - Weapons Co., Whiskey "1", at Camp Hurricane Point. If you run into him, tell him his Dad said said hello and we are anxious for their return home.

Proud Marine Dad
— Greg

Hey Steve,

My son also is with 2/5 Weapons, Whiskey 03. Looks like you're going to have to pay them a visit. Ramadi is a very dangerous place. Weapons alone has lost its C.O. and several good young Marines. Tell Whiskey 3 and my son if you see him to stay safe. You too, friend...

— Bob

Dear Steve,

Thank you for reporting from Ramadi. My son LPCL Green is with the 2/5 Weapons Whiskey 3 Company. If you happen to run into him please tell him his family misses him and loves him very much.

Thank you from a grateful mom.

— Stacey


My grandson, Chris, is with Echo Company, Weapons Plt., his second tour in Iraq. We haven't heard from him in some time. If you come across the group, give him a "high five" and blessings from Papa Charlie & Grandma. Doing a great job!!

— Charlie

Hey Steve!

Good Luck & Stay Safe.... while you're there say "Hi" to the members of the Army's 2ID 2nd Brigade Combat Team who were pulled out of South Korea and attached to the Marines in the Ramadi area. Some of these soldiers, including my husband, had already spent several months to a year or MORE away from their families before getting orders to serve an additional year in Iraq.

I know you are hoping to find a hot news story, but my prayers will be that the situation there becomes more peaceful warranting only a passing mention.

— Suzanne (Killeen, TX)


So glad to hear news about Ramadi , my son is in there, it seems like we never hear about these men and women and the dangers that they face everyday. Stay safe and stay strong Steve, your reporting is a blessing, giving us real information as to what's going on.

— Donna

Mr. Harrigan,

I saw your report from Ramadi a few minutes ago. Thank you very much for mentioning 2/5. It seems like weeks since I have heard any news from this Battalion. I have a nephew in Weapons Company. Please make sure all of our troops know how much we appreciate them and please be safe, we need your reports.

— Roger 1st Sgt(Ret) USA

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.