In an upcoming four-episode special for FOX Nation’s “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” Emmy Award-winning journalist Lara Logan takes a deep dive into the untold reality of war and its aftermath — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
In “America’s Veterans,” Logan seeks to uncover the truths and realities all too often bypassed by the mainstream media, including what war zones actually look like today, veteran struggles and their success stories, and a behind the scenes look at what the creed “leave no man behind” really means.
Part one of the series, “A Warrior’s Faith,” drops Friday on FOX Nation, and the rest of the episodes — “A Hot Cup of Freedom,” “The Price We Pay,” and “Leave No One Behind” — air Monday through Wednesday.
The special is a long time coming for the former “60 Minutes” journalist and war correspondent.
“This idea came out of years of talking to veterans back here in the U.S. after these wars, where a lot of them were frustrated by the coverage,” Logan explained, noting that the incomplete story breeds division and misunderstanding.
“As a journalist, I’ve always looked to those areas,” she said. “I’m always interested in the full truth and the full context.”
In part one of the series, “A Warrior’s Faith,” Logan sheds light on what she’s dubbed as modern “invisible wars,” emphasizing the lack of on-the-ground media coverage.
Logan speaks with Dave Eubank, director of the Free Burma Rangers, a multi-ethnic humanitarian organization providing aid and supplies to war zones, and delves into their assistance in the 2017 military operation Battle for Mosul to recapture Iraq’s second largest city from the Islamic State.
Showing the on-the-ground reality is vital, explained Logan, because, ultimately, it leaves Washington less room to “spin.”
“We’ve had no real understanding for years now,” she said. “My concern is, if you don’t see it and you don’t see firsthand on the ground, you’re more susceptible to spin.”
As an example of the dwindling coverage from the media, Logan noted then-President Barack Obama in 2014 referring to ISIS as a “JV team” and claiming intelligence let him down. At the time, Obama was able to say something so off-base with reality and get away with it, at least in part.
“For example, when Obama said that ISIS was a ‘JV team’ and intelligence agencies had let him down,” Logan told The Daily Wire, “Well, if there had been journalists on the ground covering ISIS, we would all have been showing how untrue that was. People would have seen it; he wouldn’t have been able to say it.”
“I’m not trying to shape the policy in one direction or the other; I’m tying to give people an understanding of what’s really happening,” she emphasized.
Logan added that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn testified in early 2015 that ISIS had taken Fallujah and were going to take more territory, significant territory, and they were going to do it quickly. “If journalists had been covering theses stories properly and had been on the ground and had been seeing it, they would have known and followed what Mike Flynn said. But, no, what happens is you have Obama go on TV and say, ‘Oh, I had no idea, my intelligence agencies didn’t tell me.’ That’s just not true.”
“I don’t mean to make this personal against Obama,” the journalist explained. “It’s just an example that comes to mind.”
There hasn’t been coverage of the wars “for years,” Logan said. “It started in the Obama years – we were discouraged from investing any time in Afghanistan because they wanted out. They don’t want journalists doing the moving stories about what’s happening to Afghans.”
And currently, she said, “Afghanistan is astonishing, it’s just astonishing. We’ve made a peace deal with the Taliban. … The Taliban’s violence has gone up, it has not gone down.”
Logan, who now has children, still goes to the war zones to provide coverage when she can, but doesn’t live there as she used to. If she didn’t have children, she said, she’d still live there, because that’s how important she feels the coverage is for the American people.
In part two, “A Hot Cup of Freedom,” Logan transitions to explore a major veteran success story: Black Rifle Coffee in Salt Lake City, Utah. The flourishing company isn’t just veteran-owned, but makes it a point to help other veterans, building their culture and community.
“We only tell one part of the story, and we tell that story over and over and over again,” Logan said. “And there’s nothing wrong with that, because it’s real and it’s part of the story. But there’s more to veterans who come back from war than just the guy who is broken and shattered and needs to be saved and helped. There are many veterans who come back and do transition very successfully.”
Veterans have told Logan they feel they are “just defined by injury and PTSD,” she said. “A lot of veterans get the feeling that people think every vet is a basketcase just waiting to do the next mass shooting. The first question journalists ask with these mass shooting is, ‘Oh, was he in the military? Check his military records.’”
On the flip side, explained Logan, the struggle of returning veterans – an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide a day in the U.S. – is of course real and cannot be ignored.
In episode three, “The Price We Pay,” Logan speaks with a group of California veterans who use community and surfing to cope with their injuries, both physical and mental. She also interviews Marine Corps veteran and documentarian Dustin Jones to share his story and discuss the increasing veteran suicide rate.
Logan noted to The Daily Wire that both purpose and community are vital for our returning veterans. “Everyone wants to be understood,” she explained, noting that there is “a profound sense of brotherhood and family” with our veterans. “The veterans who feel isolated are more susceptible to suicide.”
In part four of the series, “Leave No One Behind,” Logan is joined by a musician who wrote about the Angel Flights of those killed overseas, a Vietnam veteran’s mission to fulfill our nation’s promise, and a son searching for his missing military father.
The segment was especially moving to Logan, who, as a war correspondent, never missed Angel Flight boarding if she knew about it. The deceased have their units surrounding them to see them off, but Logan felt a responsibility to be there to represent the families who couldn’t attend.
“We start with the song ‘Angel Flight,’ and that was the song I heard years ago, and it really moved me, because it’s the song about the pilots who fly those planes – it’s called an ‘Angel Flight’ when you bring a soldier’s body home from the battlefield,” Logan explained to The Daily Wire. “I’ve been to many funerals for soldiers, sometimes for whom I’ve never met, and usually didn’t know very well at all. And I went because I couldn’t bear the thought of someone’s child leaving, being gone, and their parents, their family, not being able to be there.”
“Of course they had their unit and their teammates around them, but I used to go for the families,” she said. “If there was one out there that was happening and I was around, I never missed.”
“So when I heard the song ‘Angel flight,’ it was such a thing for me because I’ve seen so many bodies loaded onto that flight, on the ground. And it’s so moving to think of those pilots and those crews aboard, how seriously they take that mission.”
“And I think the thing in there that I wrote, that really came from my heart and soul was, ‘When it happens to you, the one thing you know is there’s an Angel Flight that’s coming to take you home, that you can count on, and that your family can count on,’” Logan added. “To me, that speaks a lot about who we are as people in this country, and also in the military itself.”
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