Sgt. Shane Carpenter of the Misfits is the son of one of my co-workers. Every single day she comes to work, smiles, and does her job, yet in the back of her mind is the fear that any mother would have.
After watching this documentary, I am in awe not only of the soldiers themselves, but of their families, who sacrifice time with their fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers, who understand the pride and commitment, who go day to day not knowing what will happen next, who quietly pray for their loved one's safety.
This generation of soldiers is simply as inspiring as any hero our nation has produced. They are Americans. They are our family. They are in my prayers.
First off, let me say 'Job well done !! ' This is close to my heart, I served with the 1st Cav in Vietnam and I had many friends in the 8th Cav.
As I look at this production, I wish that I had been born 30 years later, with all the knowledge that I have now, and be assigned to the Cav again. Outstanding job, 100% KUDOS....As an after thought, I see some negetive input. I'll tell ya what people, I'm almost 60 this year, you grab a rifle, pull up ya socks and strap yourself to a hum-V, and I'll do the same thing. Until you do that....keep your mouth shut!!
Outstanding job! I was flipping through the channels the other night when I stumbled across this show. I couldn't stop watching, I was riveted to the screen. Oh, and the reason I was awake at the late hour the show was on, couldn't sleep for worrying about my son who's deployed to Baghdad.
Even though it scared me, it helps to see some of the reality. A really excellent job, congratulations.
These soldiers constitute an occupying force, that was ordered into Iraq, by interests wishing to control its oil reserves. These soldiers were shown as warm sensitive human beings. We did not see any instances of Iraqis being tortured, killed,or maimed, by American soldiers. However we do have evidence that this does happen, not from this programme, however.
Frontline does not usually promote such a one sided version of events as this programme did. It was sentimental, emotional, and overly dramatic. It offered little analysis of the role of a soldier in an unpopular and unjustified war.
Frontline should redress the balance and offer a programme that tells the other side of the soldier's tale. Let us hear what the Iraqi people think of the presence of these soldiers. I wonder if the Iraqi people would also see the american soldiers, as caring, humanitarian, and humble individuals, as proposed in this programme?
KUDOS on the program, the USA needs to see what occurs in IRAQ. The second issue is the FCC not being able to understand the topic and connection of the story. Bad language? Well that occurs in the REAL WORLD wartime situation. Sensitive viewers "Get A Grip". This would be a good time to flex the V chip muscle that was forced down our throats and built into every TV. Let's rate the show R and call it complete. Let the tecnology screen out the complainers.
We missed this show. We have a daughter in Fallujah so this is of great interest to us. Our papers do not advertise well. I'd like to know if and when it will be repeated and if not, request that it is. I know that you usually re-broadcast shows but don't see this one again so far.
N. Myrtle Beach, SC
FRONTLINE's editors respond:
Local PBS stations have the option to rebroadcast this program in the coming days and weeks. Please check with your local PBS station to see if they are scheduling a re-airing of "A Company of Soldiers."
I would like to start by saying Thank you! It was a truly contradicting program to watch. You see, my dad's cousin was Travis Babbit. I watched him grieve when we first found out he had been killed. Then last night I didn't know how watching that would affect him. I thought it would be too hard.
Then after seeing the way he was missed, and how the Misfits were still able to go and do the job that Travis died for, it was truly inspirational. God Bless all our troops, their families and bring them home safely and swiftly. THANK YOU to all the troops protecting us all. You truly are all HEROES. Thank you.
This is one of the best things PBS has ever done. It shows the tragic ironic disconnection between the grandiose hope of a free Iraq on the one hand, and the everyday death, fear, grief, goodness and youth of our soldiers and the casual death, frustration, fear, and loss of property, loss of respect of the Iraq citizen.
Your documentary shall surely become part of the archives of American History. It was so professional. My son is with the Marines in Anbar and our family was so appreciative of an insight into the heroism and patriotism of our finest. Their sacrifices are why we are free to desent, not vote, denigrate those that give their very life, to preserve our freedoms.
God bless and protect each and every one on them.
After viewing the special I know now how I can support our troops wholeheartedly while not supporting the War in Iraq.
These two ideas are not mutually exclusive. I will take this one step further: President Bush does not deserve to be the commander in chief of such honorable men and women.
These are the best and the bravest of America's children and President Bush has squandered them. I have a family member who is soon to be redeployed to Iraq so I do not say this lightly. I cannot explain to my children - or myself - why this person has to go back to fight for the freedom of Iraq (in light of the fact that there are now no known WMD) when his freedom to leave the military when his term is complete is denied him. All I can say is God help us all. Frontline - your programing is outstanding.
Our son, SPC Raymond White with 1/8th Cav Scouts was the second soldier KIA in Baghdad that week. We had spoken to Ray just hours before he was fatally wounded and he said that you were in their area.
My wife and I were concerned that you might compromise any mission by being in the area, but after watching Frontline this evening we commend you on a job well done. Thank you for the respect that you so greatfully had shown toward our son by not dramatizing his death.
Henry and Sharon White
I would like to say thank you, and that I really appreciated your story. It gave me a chance to see men that I have not seen since I was injured by an IED on 30 May 04. You see I am a member of Dog or Delta company as I knew it. Except I find myself in Texas recovering from my injuries and patiently awaiting the return of many of the brave men that you showed. Furthermore it gave me an oppotunity to see my sector of Baghdad the memories that these images evoked were not all bad. My only regret is that you did not show more of the brave men that belong to that company or talk to them. You see I am a scout and I wish you had shown more of them, but oh well. ...
I appreciate your honest and forthright portrayal of what goes on a day to day basis and your reporting of the facts. Facts that so many people have never seen from other media outlets. I really believe it is hard for the news to be reported from the safety of the Green Zone.
Thank You for your report,
copperas cove , tx
As an Australian soldier I was amazed but not surprised by the footage of American soldiers driving through the streets of Baghdad shooting at cars because of the fear of suicide bombs. I have served in combat with American forces and I can say from personal experience that the gung ho unprofessional manner in which the Americans conduct themselves does not win any battles and it does not endear American forces to their allies or earn respect from the enemy. I remember patrolling the streets of Basra with Australian and British forces, we mixed with the community and did not just drive through town in armoured vehicles shooting at random. We did not engage the enemy unless we could win the engagement. We picked our ground to fight. We did not go on patrol without local community leaders acting as intermediaries. Our aim was to earn the respect and cooperation of the locals by respecting and cooperating with them. We are there for the Iraqis and the Iraqis are suffering the most. This program is a great example of the disrespect that american servicemen have for anyone who is not american. Americans need to realise that their methods are why Australian servicemen are extremely reluctant to work with them. Americans cannot win this war. They are arrogant by believing that they can win through arrogance and firepower. I know. I have seen the results of American methods first hand. Good luck to Dog Company. No matter what my feelings about the war and American methods, I hope the lads from Dog Company are doing ok.
While I applaud your giving a much needed voice to my fellow soldiers, I still have to say that I am slightly disappointed in the coverage. I was in Iraq for 14 months and I personally found it one-sided. ...
I came to understand from my time there, that we will never really have improvements in Iraq until the press, politicians, and military starts to put a human face to the Iraqi people.
Being home for 5 months now, I'm finding the hardest thing that I personally have to deal with was our coarse attitude towards all Iraqi's. I am embarrassed to say that we treated stray dogs, camels and goats better than we did the Iraqi people.
I will forever carry with me, the image of an Iraqi boy of about 9 years of age who was the unfortunate witness to his older brother and mother being shot at a checkpoint we were guarding. PBS, of all media outlets, has the power to bring hope and possibly freedom to this region if you would make a human face and voice available to the grief-stricken Iraqi's. I know deep in my heart that if these people are allowed to share their pain and struggles, things will get much better. These people have been dehumanized and they truly are some of the bravest and most dignified people that I've ever met. The strength of these people is something to marvel at and they should finally be treated as such. Still, all in all, I applaud your efforts.
Sgt. Max Jackson
santa ana, ca
Thank you Frontline and PBS for creating and airing such an amazing piece. I am currently enlisted in the Army's Delayed Entry Program (DEP) as a Cav Scout and have been very interested to know more about what I will be doing.
This show gave both me and my Mom a chance to see a short period in the life of a Cav Scout. The work has excited me to ship out in late June. Thank you again, and God Bless America!
Outstanding program, as usual, from Frontline. Amazed to hear from a "gbh employee friend that the use of " coarse" language became such an huge, time-consuming, First Amendment issue for the editors and producers. Given the level of advertising one must endure at dinner time on commercial TV, as well as the crude programming, it is ludicrous that you had to be concerned about possible complaints to the FCC, because of language we hear every day on the streets thses days. This was a serious, real-life situation you were showing us. I'm glad you stuck to your guns this time, and told it as it was. This war is affecting us all, and both recent Frontline programs helped me to understand better some of the issues confronting officers, soldiers, and the Iraqi citizenry. Thank you for this series.