Reporter's Notebook: Iraq — Three Years Later

Editor's note: FOX News Anchor Bill Hemmer is traveling to Iraq. His broadcasts begin Monday, March 20 from Camp Fallujah at 12 p.m. ET, 9 a.m. PT

Bill Hemmer
This is an American story. It plays out every day in the most violent place on Earth.

Three years after a "Shock and Awe Campaign" started the Iraq war, it is uncertain how much longer it will last. But the presence of the U.S. military is a certainty — at some level — for years to come.

Currently, 132,000 U.S. men and women are living and fighting in the killing sands of Iraq. This assignment is about them.

Our mission is to report on these men and women. How are they doing? How do they deal with the stress of war? Is the U.S. military making progress? Can Iraq stabilize with U.S. help? I have countless questions buzzing in my mind as I type this.

Our destination is the heart of the Sunni Triangle and Camp Fallujah where thousands of U.S. Marines are stationed today.

Fallujah is best known to our viewers for the violent insurgency that sprung from its dusty street corners. It’s the same town where four U.S. contractors were found hanging from a nearby bridge two years ago this month. It’s the city, west of Baghdad about 40 miles, where U.S. Marines fought block-by-block, day-by-day to help bring stability and knock the insurgency out of power.

Today, the peace appears to be holding in Fallujah, but it is an uneasy peace. Just last week a deadly bombing occurred near the entrance to the U.S. base that is located on the outskirts of town, killing several people.

It has been two years since I last traveled to Iraq. In December 2003, Saddam Hussein had just been captured and the early stages of a violent insurgency were still being established. Nearly everything, it appears, has changed in the 26 months since.

About a week ago, the Pentagon suggested the media was "exaggerating" reports on daily violence and the possibility of a Civil War. It is our intention to sift through the dust and body count and learn from the Marines whose duty to country is carried out daily.

In the end, we hope to capture the honest and fair reality for how far Iraq has come in 36 months. And of equal, if not greater importance, is how far the difficult road ahead may stretch over that flat, dusty and often deadly horizon.

I hope you will join us starting Monday, March 20 at 12 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT), live from Camp Fallujah.

Bill Hemmer currently serves as co-anchor of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) America's Newsroom (weekdays 9-11AM/ET) alongside Sandra Smith. Hemmer joined the network in 2005 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill Hemmer