• E-mail: Jamie Colby
• Photo Essay: Jamie Visits the Pentagon!
I don’t know if you are born brave or if you become brave, but I know that I have stared bravery in the face. The more military stories I cover, the more opportunities I’ve had to meet brave men and women, and hear their firsthand anecdotes of their multiple deployments. The work they are doing in Iraq, they tell me, continues to keep us safe here at home.
Five years ago, I went to my first Army installation at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. At the time, 17 and 18-year-old soldiers were enthusiastically packing their gear, fine-tuning their M-16s and, with conviction, telling family members they’d return from combat soon. Some were so new to the military — having been impacted in some way by the events of 9-11 and enlisted — that they hardly had a feel for what it meant to serve in our all-volunteer armed forces. Few knew they’d never be the same. Some would never return home.
It was at Fort Hood where I met Col. James McConville, Commander of the First Cavalry. During my stay there, his cavalry toured Iraq and, two Apache pilots were shot down, captured and rescued. His leadership during the crisis was remarkable; it was clear that he exhibited the very essence of "Army Strong."
Four years after that first meeting, I had the chance to visit again with Col. McConville. I was invited to be a part of a test flight on a new helicopter, The Lakota, with the Army’s Vice Chief, Gen. Richard Cody. Both are master army aviators, committed soldiers and extremely well respected leaders. (Click here to see photos of The Lakota)
When I heard on that trip that Col. McConville was going to be promoted to general, I knew I wanted to be there; it would also be my first visit to the Pentagon. I’d followed Col. McConville’s every move at Fort Hood and I still hear from soldiers who served under him how much they admire and respect him. Mission accomplished! Taking a vacation day could not have been better spent!
The hero of the day though — according to both Gen. Cody and Gen. McConville — was Mrs. McConville! Maria and Gen. McConville have been married for 20 years and their family has lived in 17 different locations as a result of his military service. It was made clear at the ceremony that Maria, through her own sacrifice, has served both her country and family with distinction. Leave it to Gen. McConville to decide the best way to reward her … he got a star and Maria got new jewelry. Good move General!
Dr. Mary E. Walker was a surgeon whose husband was in the military. In the midst of combat, as the story goes, she stole a uniform, put it on and went to provide medical care to the wounded. She was bestowed a Medal of Honor, but had it revoked. Years later it was re-awarded, but to her great-grandchildren.
Please check out the links to new information for all veterans and for parents and grandparents of deploying soldiers and I hope you will continue to support the troops. They are working so hard — bravery and sacrifice for all.
Jamie Colby joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in July 2003 and currently serves as a news correspondent and anchor of "FOX News Live" on Saturdays and Sundays (2 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET). She anchored coverage of the passing of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI from Rome. You can read her complete bio here.