Sign in to comment!

Interviews

O'Reilly Pays Tribute to Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 10, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: In the "Impact Segment" tonight: The cost of war.

Keeping America safe from terrorists come at a huge price for so many Americans. More than 40,000 American troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been wounded in battle. And of those, more than 1,100 have endured amputations.

Today, Bill O'Reilly visited with some of these American heroes at the Walter Reed Medical Center and Bill now joins us by phone from Washington.

Mr. O'Reilly, I'm so glad that you were there today. I've had the great privilege of doing the same thing and it's hard to do, but it's so uplifting. And I'd love to hear your thoughts about what you saw and what the troops told you.

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST (Via Telephone): All right. Well, you know, it's emotional. It's emotional to go there and see the young men and women whose lives have been altered forever. That's number one. But while you're there, you have to, you know, keep their spirits up.

Geraldo and Colonel Hunt and I today went today and we visited maybe a dozen of the most severely wounded soldiers and Marines. And basically our message was that you're not forgotten. That we remember and we're going remember because these injured military people are going have to be cared for the rest of our lives. So, we have one Special Forces guy who lost two legs and an arm. And another was completely blind. And their spirits are terrific.

Now, I'm sure that the Walter Reed people selected strong individuals for us to see. But, you know, to talk to them and to hear how they got injured what their sacrifices have been, it's really humbling. It really is. I mean, it puts your own problems away.

And this time of year, I thought it was important that we go down. They love Fox News in the military. They love Colonel Hunt and Geraldo. I talked to Sergeant Lemmon who lost his arm and I actually talked to his father, Frank, in Anchorage, Alaska on the phone.

And it meant a lot to these guys that we have a connection to them, Laura, and that we're not going to forget them. And that brings me to why I wanted to talk to you and to the "Factor" audience tonight is that I can't thank everybody enough for supporting the "Wounded Warriors [Project]" on BillO'Reilly.com by buying stuff in the Christmas store.

And so, we're able to give an enormous amount of money, not only to "Wounded Warriors" but Operation Shoebox and other charities, Dennis Miller's charity, [so] that we have extended care for our military because the government can only do so much. And private concerns have to do a lot.

So, I applaud everybody who has helped us out in the BillO'Reilly.com Christmas store, [and] buy stuff. As you know, all the money I get goes to charity. And, you know, we were able to do a lot of good, about $400,000 this month alone.

INGRAHAM: Wow.

O'REILLY: And a lot of that is going to the military charities.

INGRAHAM: And Bill, I have gotten a present from you and this is an early Christmas present from Bill O'Reilly. But I got my American Patriots fleece jacket and for that, Bill, I'm sending -- I'm sending Walter Reed's folks over at Fisher House a great contribution from our show and our radio show.

But I want to applaud everything you have done through your website. It's been incredible. I've talked to the guys at Walter Reed and at Bethesda Naval, and they so much appreciate it. And I think it's just -- it's a wonderful thing that you did this Christmas. So, I want to thank you for that.

O'REILLY: You're welcome. We sent you -- it's very cold here in Washington today, Laura. So, we figured Miss Laura might be a little chilly. So, we sent her over the American Patriots fleece and I'm sure you look great in it.

INGRAHAM: Yes.

O'REILLY: And by the way, Fisher House, that you mentioned, we gave them $10,000 just yesterday -- because this, again, is extended care, not only for the wounded warriors but for their families.

INGRAHAM: Yes.

O'REILLY: You know, they're from all over the country and they have to come to Walter Reed and they have to stay here. And we met so many little children today, you know, it's heartbreaking.

INGRAHAM: But it's great. I mean, it's -- they have pride and --

O'REILLY: Absolutely.

INGRAHAM: -- they love the connection with the people because not all of us have personal military connections. They love the fact that we are with them and we support them 100 percent.

Now, I have to ask you, Bill, what happened last night on "Letterman"? OK, I only got to see video clips, but it seems like there's new love, right?

O'REILLY: I don't know -- I don't know -- you know, he called me a blowhard and I don't think there's any love between Dave and I. I mean, I go on the program, obviously, to plug "Pinheads and Patriots," which I think is a worthy endeavor. And, you know, he did that. I was on for a long time, three segments.

And I think we got our points across. And the audience seemed to respond to them. It's always a challenge. But nobody walked off the set. So, that's a plus.

INGRAHAM: Yes, I was going to say. That would have been the highlight. If he walked off and you got to take it over with Shaffer and the band. I would have loved to have seen that.

Hey, O'Reilly. Thanks for what you did today.

O'REILLY: Bye, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Have a great weekend.

O'REILLY: All right. Thank you.

INGRAHAM: You take care.