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When you are a journalist, interviews make up a big part of the job.
I've been fortunate enough to sit down with presidents and prime ministers, actors and astronauts, but here I was on a Thursday morning driving to a hotel near Washington, D.C. to interview a real-life hero, complete with his own G.I. Joe type action figure and video game.
But this was not some Hollywood generated fantasy character. Tommy Rieman is an action hero because he's an "American Hero."
In December of 2003, Sgt. Tommy Rieman, a 22-year-old Kentucky native, was leading an eight-man team to spy on Saddam loyalists at the Abu Ghraib prison — but they never made it.
Rieman's unit was ambushed on the side of the road.
Within seconds, the air was filled with bullets and shrapnel, and with his men outnumbered and outgunned, Rieman knew the only thing between living and dying was a .50 caliber gun on the top of their Humvee.
Rieman's objective was to protect the gunner at all costs, and indeed the price was heavy. Using his own body to shield the gunner, Rieman was hit with a number of bullets and shrapnel — but several wounds are not enough to slow down an action hero. So Rieman kept moving, kept shooting, and kept saving lives.
After a fierce firefight that lasted less than a minute, Rieman was bleeding badly, but he was confident that his men were safe … that is until they were ambushed by other enemy fighters.
Join us this week to find out how the battle ended, and why Tommy Rieman was honored by the military and the president of the United States, with a Silver Star.
And for every one of us who dreamed of growing up to become an action hero, Tommy Rieman personifies that dream. He is a hero for the ages, and I hope meeting him will be as thrilling for you as it was for me.
• Exclusive Video: Hero's Invitation to the White House
Be sure to tune in Friday, May 4 at 6pm ET and Saturday, May 5 at 3pm ET for our "American Heroes" special on Sgt. Tommy Reiman.
Plus, keep an eye out for our upcoming special — "V" FOR VALOR: AMERICAN HEROES IN IRAQ
Description: The heated debate over the war in Iraq has drowned out the stories of incredible heroism by Americans on the front lines. That's why Trace Gallagher traveled across America to interview some of the most heavily decorated heroes from Iraq. With rarely seen video, combat photos and computer graphics, FOX recounts their astounding feats of valor on the battlefield.
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.