A Soldier's Soldier
Gen. Tommy Franks made his first foray into Iraq to see his troops. 'I love them,' he said. 'It's very uplifting'
By Martha Brant
NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE
"I love them. I actually love them and it's good for me to see them in the environment in which they're doing what we're asking them to do. It's very uplifting," he said. Not only did he get the "eyes on" version of events on the ground, but he sent a message around the world that Southern Iraq at least was well on its way to being completely under coalition control. Soon the combat camera footage of children and adults waving and giving a thumbs up to his nine-vehicle convoy (Franks rode in a Humvee with blacked out windows through An Najaf) will be streaming across TV screens. But despite his protestations, Franks was the star of the trip. "Showtime!" Franks shouted jokingly and maybe a bit self-consciously as he walked down the ramp of the C-130 in Numaniya.
Franks came across as "a simple soldier," in his own words. He didn't come to the Army as a General's son or a West Point grad. He started his military career with the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam. He is comfortable carrying his 9mm Beretta tucked in the small of his back, as he did Monday, and joking around with the guys. He poured water on one of his bodyguards who fell asleep on one of the Kevlar-reinforced helo flights. He greeted those he met with manly slaps on the arm and big hugs.
entire article can be seen at: www.msnbc.com/news/897273.asp?0cv=KB10#BODY
I can't help but like this General. "a simple soldier" and "a soldier's soldier".