Joseph L. Galloway and the Realities of War Corresponding
War corresponding is an essential part of journalism in today’s society. War correspondents risk their lives to report the events of war. It is a very challenging job, and not everyone is cut out for it. One significant war correspondent of the 20th century is Joseph L. Galloway. He spent most of his working career dealing with war, with his most notable achievements being reporting from the front lines of the battle at Landing Zone X-ray in the Ia Drang Valley during the Vietnam War, being a best selling author, and receiving the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for his courage at the aforementioned battle.
Joseph L. ...view middle of the document...
War corresponding is considered the most dangerous form of journalism and rightly so. However, war corresponding is also one of the most successful branches of journalism. Newspaper and magazine sales and television news ratings increase greatly in times of war (Steele, B).
One famous war correspondent that knows the dangers of the job very well is Joseph L. Galloway. Mr. Galloway was born in 1941 in Refugio, Texas (Joe galloway). When he was seventeen years old, he tried convincing his mother to let him join the Army. She ended up steering him toward what would make him a household name: journalism. In the mid 1960’s, Mr. Galloway was shipped off to Vietnam to cover a war that seemed to be inevitable. At the age of 24, his first view of action was the battle at Landing Zone X-ray in the Ia Drang Valley, one of the first and deadliest battles of the Vietnam War (Lee, J. A.).
When the Vietnamese first attacked in the Ia Drang Valley, Mr. Galloway was stranded at a nearby fire support base. He was brought into the valley by helicopter under the cover of darkness on November 14, 1965. At first light, all hell broke loose and Mr. Galloway found himself lying flat in the dirt, avoiding the oncoming Vietnamese Army. He was kicked in the stomach by Sergeant Major Bail L. Plumley who told him, “You can’t take no pictures layin’ down there on the ground, sonny!” (Lee, J. A.) He jumped to his feet just in time to see bombs explode 20 yards away from him. He and the medic raced to help, but the medic took a sniper’s bullet to the head. Mr. Galloway carried a wounded soldier from the Napalm fire. He said this of carrying the soldier:
“When I lifted him by the ankles his skin slipped right off and I could feel his bare bones in my hands. It took three hours to medevac him out and he screamed the whole time—regardless how much morphine he was given. He died two days later in the hospital” (Lee, J. A).
Mr. Galloway survived the deadly two-day battle. He spent a total of 22 years as a foreign and war correspondent and bureau chief for United Press International (UPI). He also spent nearly 20 years as a senior editor and senior writer for U.S. News & World Report magazine (Joe galloway). In 1982, he reconnected with Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore from the battle at Landing Zone X-ray and the two of them spent the next ten years writing We Were Soldiers Once… And Young. Their book detailing the experience of the battle they both lived through spent seventeen weeks atop the New York Times Bestseller list and was...