Introduction by
Dirck Halstead

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.

Click here to enter Joe Galloway's story.