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Stress of War Beginning to Show, Says Utah Correspondent

Stress of War Beginning to Show, Says Utah Correspondent

Posted - Apr. 4, 2003 at 9:10 p.m.



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Salt Lake Tribune correspondent Greg Grant has witnessed first hand the battle for the Baghdad airport, with the Army's 3rd infantry.

Four straight days and nights of mortars, snipers, enemy fighting that comes in unpredictable waves. Not knowing when the next attack will be, keeps every soldier on edge.

For example, listen to what happened when Greg and I spoke Friday night.

How often do you get out? How's it been being cooped up in the back of a Bradley fighting vehicle along with your comrads for long periods of time? we asked.

"Well, we do get out..." he said, but was interrupted by a loud "boom, boom, boom."

"Whoa, that one was close."

Was that incoming?

"Yes. Let me just move.." he said.

That mortar landed about 500 yards away, as Greg leaned against a tank.

Earlier in the day, another mortar landed right next to him.

"One landed in the midst of myself and a group of other American soldiers who were standing there. Luckily it was a dud. It landed about 10 feet away."

Greg Grant jokes that he's using up a bunch of his lives, and isn't sure how many he has left!

Other soldiers have similiar stories, and Greg says the stress of it all is beginning to show.

"Every soldier I've talked to is just saying, 'I've had enough, seen enough killing,' and it's starting to wear on people. They're very much ready for this to end. They desperately want to go home," he says.

Which isn't likely, for a while anyway.

Greg Grant says his unit, which has been on the front lines, may get pulled back from the action soon for some much-needed rest.

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