Editor's Note: Tune in to "Special Report" on Friday at 6 pm / 3 am ET and to "Studio B Weekend" on Saturday at 3 pm ET. to see the first report of Trace Gallagher's special series on "American Heroes."
As I embarked on my first "American Hero" interview, I thought about the past three years, and how the Iraq war has dominated the headlines. How, as a country, we cheered when Saddam's statue came tumbling down, cried as the death toll among our troops mounted, and became divided over whether the war was right, effective, or even necessary in the first place.
I also remember thinking that wherever we stand, there are men and women fighting — at this very moment — for our right to voice that opinion, whatever it may be. And, while we have the luxury of debating in the relative safety of our offices, dinner tables, and bedrooms, the people who wage the war are away from their families — for months, even years — and are always in harm’s way. As I have been reminded again and again, they are simply doing their jobs. Yet, many are doing them magnificently.
For example, Air Force Technical Sergeant Travis Crosby, a member of the Third Infantry Division. In the early part of the Iraq war, Tech. Sgt. Crosby finds himself and his troops on the wrong side of a key bridge leading into Baghdad. If they take the bridge, allied forces can move quickly into and take control of the Iraqi capital — lose the bridge, and the push to Baghdad could be extended several days, maybe weeks.
The goal was simple, but the battle would prove much more difficult. Outgunned, outmanned, and at one point, nearly out of luck, Tech. Sgt. Crosby and his troops find themselves in the fight of their lives. With radios in both ears, and guns in both hands, Tech. Sgt. Crosby simultaneously called in U.S. air strikes while battling Iraqi ground forces.
I won’t tell you how that battle came out, but I will show it to you, in the first installment of our new "American Heroes" series. Along with Tech. Sgt. Crosby, you will meet some men and women who, because of tenacity, bravery, and pride now personify the very word "hero."
Why are we bringing you these stories? Well, as I drove down the South Georgia countryside en route to meeting Travis Crosby, I picked up the phone and called an old buddy of mine who bounced around in pro baseball for a while, and I said, "You know what? If Crosby and these other American heroes were athletes, the sneaker companies would be lining up with endorsements. If they were actors, the critics would applaud and the paparazzi would flock."
But these men and women aren’t athletes or actors — they are warriors, military people, who clearly don't fight for the money or the fame. They fight for their country!
So we at FOX News thought it was about damn time that people met them, knew them, and cheered for them.
Trace Gallagher, a New York-based anchor, joined FOX News Channel when it launched in October 1996. Most recently, Gallagher provided on-site coverage to the turmoil in the Middle East from Kiryat Shmona, Israel. You can read his complete bio here.