In the fall of 1965,
U.S. Forces of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) fought a three-day
life or death struggle against a division of regulars of The North Vietnamese
Army. On the evening of the first day of the engagement, the troops
were joined by a young UPI reporter from Refugio, Texas. The story of
that battle later became a book, "We Were Soldiers Once... and
Young." Earlier this year a movie about those "days In hell"
starring Mel Gibson was released in theatres.
Although Joe wove the story around the commander, Col. Hal G. Moore,
he never really told the full story of how he managed to get from his
job in a one-man bureau of UPI in Topeka, Kansas to Vietnam, just as
the first U.S. Marines were wading ashore. Now, at our request, he has
written his personal story.
We feel it is an epic that serves as a testimonial to all the reporters
and photographers who covered that war so far away.
In 1998, Joe Galloway was decorated with the Bronze Star with V for
rescuing wounded soldiers under fire in the Ia Drang Valley. His is
the only medal of valor that the U.S.Army awarded to a civilian for
actions during the Vietnam War. Early this spring, at a ceremony at
the Vietnam Wall, Jan Scruggs, the Executive Director of the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial Fund announced the winner of the first annual Joseph
L. Galloway Award, to Alexander Perry, a correspondent for Time Magazine
for his coverage of Afghanistan.
"The Joseph L. Galloway War Correspondents Award is designed to
heighten the awareness of war correspondents" service and their
crucial role in educating the public as they report on conflicts around
the world," Scruggs said. "Each year as members of the U.S.
Armed Forces risk their lives, war correspondents do too."
Added Galloway: "Today, journalists are being put in harm's way
to tell of conflicts across the globe and now are intimately involved
in these new wars in pursuit of freedom as exemplified by the numerous
casualties sustained by reporters in the most recent conflicts in Afghanistan."
It was my privilege to know Joe in Vietnam, and now we will share his
experience with you.
here to enter Joe Galloway's story.