Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
An interview from an observation post in Ramadi with Sgt. Zach Pentek by Ritterby has been voted the best Combat Video of 2006 by the military. Although I wrote two articles about my embeds with 1/506th of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), part of Task Force Currahee, Zach's platoon in A Co. will always have a special place in my heart because we were all together in the manic dash I dubbed "the Ramadi Run." The video is only four minutes long and the fighting is visible but off in the background, but you can see why the military liked it. Zach gives more than a grunt's eye view to Ritterby, explaining the problem of seizing Ramadi from the insurgents and terrorists but presenting an optimistic view of what needs to be done and what probably will happen. Ultimately, he says, it's up to the Iraqis but the city can be pacified. And he was right. As more Iraqi Army were brought in and as the sheiks got off the fencepost and threw in their lot with the Coalition, Ramadi steadily improved between my first visit in April 2006 and my last in October. All indications are that while it still has claws and fangs it's now far safer yet; so much so that perhaps Zach wouldn't even recognize it even though his unit and he personally helped make it so.
Kudos to Ritterby, to Zach, and Task Force Currahee at Camp Corregidor!