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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Life as an Army Medic

Aired July 15, 2003 - 19:24   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back.
The march on the road to self-government continues in Iraq.

Today the country's newly appointed governing council announced it's sending a delegation to U.N. headquarters here in New York next week ,which will likely address the Security Council.

Now this, of course, comes as U.S. troops continue to police the streets of Baghdad. A tough job it is.

One of those troops, Specialist Michelle Haas, of Michigan, a combat medic, spends her days in the scorching streets of Baghdad, looking for thieves or Ali Babas, as the U.S. forces call them.

CNN producer Thomas Etcher joined Haas on one of her patrols as she expressed in her own sometimes salty words what it's like to be in Iraq. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SPECIALIST MICHELLE HAAS, COMBAT MEDIC (voice-over): Dear Mom and Dad and family, hey, how are you? I'm doing OK. It's been another hot day in Iraq.

(on camera) Sweat, it burns the eyes. It's always hot in Iraq.

(voice-over) Today, I went on two patrols. The first one, we were chasing about seven Ali Babas, but we did not catch them in time.

I kind of get a little bit nervous, but with a team, one of the platoons I'm working with right now, it's -- I feel pretty comfortable with.

(on camera) With all the stuff that we wear it makes a person feel really out of shape. On the flip side it gets you in better shape.

(voice-over) I thought we had Ali Babas, but ended up being a family dispute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's the knife?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knife?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where does he live? Where does he live?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's your brother?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got the keys to get in the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who has the keys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keys.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where's your wife?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My uncle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's Ali Baba.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brooks move your team. Let's go.

HAAS (voice-over): So we just left. When I got back I was hanging out with the guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't get that guy right there.

HAAS: Watching movies and eating dinner. Yummy, macs and cheese.

I like being in Iraq. It's rather exciting. I like hanging and being able to help the locals and playing with the kids.

(on camera) My husband is also in the Army. He's probably like 15, 20 minutes away from me and I don't get to see him that much.

(voice-over) I hope to see my husband soon. I miss him dearly like I miss you all. I'm worried about his health.

But I shall let you go for now. I'm getting sleepy. I love you. Love Michelle.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: The words of Michelle Haas on duty in Baghdad.

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