Sister in the Band of Brothers: Embedded with the 101st Airborne in Iraq
Recorded on September 9, 2005
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Van Andel Center
When U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq in March 2003, our soldiers
weren't the only ones who put their lives on the line: so did 600
"embedded" journalists, including Katherine M. Skiba. Her riveting
memoir provides a vivid you-are-there account of her experiences
with the Army's legendary 101st Airborne, the division celebrated
for its heroism in World War II as the "Band of Brothers."
Skiba, a reporter and photographer, was the sole female civilian
among the 2,300 soldiers of the 159th Aviation Brigade, whose
pilots flew Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters into the thick of
battle. Her dispatches were a vital lifeline between the troops and
their families and earned her a grateful national audience.
Reporting on the men and women in uniform with journalistic
dedication, natural compassion, and an eye for the absurd, she
chronicles her experiences from "media boot camp" to the kick-off
of Operation Iraqi Freedom to the fall of Baghdad, including a
missile attack on the brigade's desert camp.
Taking readers across the wind-blown deserts of Iraq and into
cramped seventy-man tents, where personal space barely exists and
tempers can flare, she deftly and sympathetically portrays her
brothers and sisters-in-arms, rigid commanders, gung-ho warriors,
and daring aviators, as well as intelligence officers, mechanics,
medics, and cooks, among many others.
KATHERINE M. SKIBA is a Washington, DC, correspondent for
the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, for which she has reported
since 1982. The winner of twenty-four journalism awards, she has
covered world events from the violence-charged Gaza Strip to the
crumbling Soviet Union to the uneasy streets of postwar