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APRIL 1, 2003 · As reporters from around the world travel, eat, sleep and move with troops in Iraq, at least one of them has had his editorial standards challenged by an experience with the harsh reality of war. Ron Martz is a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He and a photographer are embedded with Charlie Company, a tank unit of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division. Last week, Charlie Company was ordered to hold a key intersection near Najaf. It was an intense and chaotic combat situation. Martz left his armored personnel carrier to take in the scene. In his War Diary entry, Martz recalls the moment he came upon a U.S. solider holding a medical drip bag for a wounded Iraqi civilian. It was then Martz had to make a difficult decision.
I asked him about his family several times. He said he had three babies and he spoke a little broken English. He kept saying, "My three babies, my three babies." I don't know if I helped keep that guy alive, but I helped free a soldier to do what he's supposed to do and I helped that particular civilian... make it through that particular traumatic time.
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