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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Brothers in Arms
Aired June 15, 2005 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. Welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Tonight, a story that's been in a year in the making. And it wouldn't be possible without one family's sacrifice, patriotism and bravery.
ZAHN (voice-over): One family, four brothers on the front lines.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At any moment, anything could happen.
ZAHN: From their home in Idaho through training to the deadly streets of Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were attacked all day long there, mortar, gunfire.
ZAHN: Tonight, Brothers in Arms.
ZAHN: And thanks so much for joining us for this special hour at a time when Americans' view of Iraq seems to be changing. In a new Gallup poll, 59 percent say the U.S. should withdraw some or all of its troops. That's a 10-point jump since February.
All this week, the U.S. military death toll has passed the 1,700 mark. Iraqis are dying as well. Today, suicide bombers and insurgent attacks claimed at least 50 lives. Iraq remains a very dangerous place. Still, there's no doubt that the vast majority of Americans respect and admire the courage of our young men and women in uniform. And you're about to see that courage for yourself.
Over the past year, with the military's permission, CNN's Alex Quade has been checking in with the members of an extraordinary family, the Pruetts of Idaho. Come with us now to Iraq and meet four brothers in arms.
ALEX QUADE, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): Oil pipeline attacks, suicide car bombs, mortars, mass graves, improvised explosive devices, and ethnic tensions. This is Kirkuk Province, northern Iraq, where nearly 5,000 U.S. Army National Guardsman serve.
Among them, Eric, an assistant manager at a Wal-Mart.
2ND LT. ERIC PRUETT, ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: We are here. We are armed. We are ready for business.
QUADE: Jeff, a grocery store clerk.
PFC. JEFF PRUETT, ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: We have got to protect your backs.
QUADE: Evan, a bartender.
SPC. EVAN PRUETT, ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: I just hope nothing bad happens.
QUADE: And Greg, a missionary.
SPC. GREG PRUETT, ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: I just hope and pray that everything is OK.
QUADE: Four citizen soldiers with something in common, their last name, Pruett, four brothers deployed with different units in Kirkuk.
On patrol with Eric, the eldest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here toting bulletproof vests and weapons everywhere we go and guys pulling security even as we talk now. I mean, at any moment, anything could happen and we need to be ready for that.
QUADE (on camera): What was it like for you the first time when you came under fire?
ERIC PRUETT: It was pretty intense.
QUADE (voice-over): An understatement. His platoon has survived five gunfights, three IEDs, improvised explosive devices, three rockets, and nine mortar attacks.
J. PRUETT: Did they check in this canister thing right here?
QUADE: On the other side of town, I join brother Jeff.
J. PRUETT: We had rocket that fired at our five yesterday. This is where they traced it to.
QUADE: He hunts for insurgents and weapons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell them to check in between all the pillows and the mattresses.
QUADE: The dangers Jeff and Eric face are the same for brothers Greg and Evan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get all your gear on and stay in your little bunker and just wait until they tell you everything is good. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very real and it is something that we have to contend with every single day.
QUADE: The four Pruetts have been away from home for a year, living under constant threat and worry for each other.
J. PRUETT: I was worried, you know, what's the chances of four of us coming over to Iraq, where it's combat and all of us making home? So, it kind of scared me at first and I didn't like the idea.
QUADE: I met the Pruetts a year ago at their home in Pocatello, Idaho. Among these teens playing volleyball, four soldiers about to go to war the next day and two just back, yes, six members of one family serving their country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We never thought that all of us would go.
QUADE: Lee (ph) Pruett, or dad, and son Aaron (ph) just returned from serving in Fallujah when the others were called up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of weird to think that my brothers are going over there now that I've been there and back. And I just kind of, you know, offer as much support and love as I can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have had close calls just with Aaron and I over there, a big helicopter crash in Mosul. We actually went out and did the extrication and recovered the bodies of those soldiers and those helicopters.
QUADE: In uniform for family photos.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, look over here, you two.
QUADE: The brothers are excited for their chance to experience what dad and Aaron had.
G. PRUETT: Soldiers are dying. But that's war. And, you know, we're willing to take that risk. We love our country. We're a very patriotic family. I'm sure you saw my brother's car over there, painted it red, white and blue. And we're all willing to go over there and do what we have to do.
QUADE: Their mom, Tammy (ph) Pruett, puts on a brave face.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our odds are a lot higher than most families. And, yes, it would be horrible to lose one of my sons. They're all, I think, prepared to make that sacrifice. And sure, it would be horrible. You know, I'm not going to kid and say, oh, I could really get through that easily, because I couldn't.
QUADE: Next day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to go with me?
QUADE: The brothers say their goodbyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would if you could, huh?
QUADE: And report for duty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attention.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you people to think about the innocent people that was burned to death in buildings in New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm in charge of 16 guys, four tanks. And that is my first priority. But, at the same time, you know, my brothers are going to be there. And I'm going to be just worried about them and trying to check up on them just as much as I can and as much as I'm allowed to.
QUADE: They'll be away from home for 18 months.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand at. Ease. All right, guys. It's good to be back.
ZAHN: But before the brothers get to Iraq, they go through plenty of training.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leg.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two. He's shot in the leg.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Left arm and left leg.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: It gets very real, very dangerous, very quickly. Please stay with us as we follow the brothers in arms all the way to Iraq.
ZAHN: Welcome back to a very special hour. We are following four National Guardsmen, Eric, Jeff, Evan and Greg Pruett. They're brothers all headed to Iraq, which means months of special training.
Once again, here's Alex Quade.
QUADE (voice-over): It looks like Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Left, correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't be out there too long. Get it done. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sniper shot through the wall, hit a civilian over here.
QUADE: But this is urban combat training, August, Fort Bliss, Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got a strong back? All right. You're my radio man second maneuver.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are going to take the two buildings on the right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pruett, get up here.
QUADE: Each Pruett brother and his unit go through this mock Iraqi village.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One bad guy down!
QUADE: Where things suddenly go bad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get him down. Secure him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got one man down.
QUADE: If this raid were real, youngest brother Jeff, the one in the middle, would be dead. This training may keep them alive in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going outside.
QUADE: Brother Eric's tank platoon provides backup.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they'll go in and clear a town and then we'll roll through the town.
QUADE: The four Pruetts have been training separately and haven't seen each other in two months. I arrange with the Army for a reunion for Jeff and Evan, Eric and Greg.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty neat, because Greg's never really seen the tanks or anything. And so it is pretty cool to explain to him what my job is, and so he can have a little sense of how much safer I am than being on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. He likes it. He better be out there protecting my butt while I'm in my Humvee. So, that's I got to say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love these things, man. They're awesome.
EVAN PRUETT: In my heart I feel that we'll be able to watch out for each other. And even if it's just that feeling I think that I'm going to be able to, it's nicer to know that they're there and if something could happen, that they're there.
QUADE: October, Fort Polk, Louisiana. This is advanced urban combat training, where the brothers meet up again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we are very lucky to have each other here. You talk to your guys and the guys in your unit are wonderful, but family, as everyone knows, is a lot different.
QUADE: They haven't even left the states, but already are missing family. Evan's wife, Amber (ph), is pregnant with their first child. Eric's baby boy colors with crayons for the first time.
ERIC PRUETT: I am missing such a large part of his growing and first haircuts and walking and birthdays.
QUADE: By December, the Pruetts are in Kuwait. While waiting to deploy into Iraq, the brothers attend a controversial town hall meeting with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do not have proper armament vehicles.
DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want.
QUADE: The press reacted strongly to the statements, but Eric saw it differently. "I was there," he e-mails and thought the Rumsfeld talk went very well. Still, Eric goes on to say, he is glad he will be in his tank and his brothers in armored Humvees when they cross the border into Iraq.
January, Iraq's first democratic elections. While the four brothers were providing security at different polling stations
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were attacked all day long there, mortar, gunfire, rockets. It was a pretty big day.
QUADE: Back home, their sister Emily (ph) was getting married.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's sad not to have them be a part of a -- the day that's really important, you know? I heard from them. And they congratulated me.
QUADE: Brother Greg e-mailed his best wishes and added, "Please pray that the Iraqi people may have the strength to carry the burdens on their own, so that we may all return home."
Until next January, the Pruetts will call Kirkuk home. It is a place of tension between Kurds, Arab and Turkmen and, according to Army intelligence, a recruiting area and sanctuary for extremist militias. At this point, Tammy Pruett's sons have been away six months.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Each blue star represents the number of active members that you have in a foreign country. So, there are for foreign wars. And then, if, by chance, someone didn't come back, which we hope doesn't happen, but they would put a gold star over top of these blue ones.
QUADE: The banner will hang in the window until her boys come home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, a lot more dangerous than Idaho.
QUADE: For Jeff, Greg, Evan and Eric, the challenges have only just begun.
ZAHN: And, in just a minute, we'll not only follow the four Pruett brothers into the danger zone, but also into some of the strangest living quarters you could ever imagine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
G. PRUETT: This right here is what -- actually where he used to hang and torture some of his people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Inside Iraq, with its contradictions, hopes and very real dangers when we come back.
ZAHN: For American soldiers, life in Iraq is not just about fighting insurgents. Coming up, our brothers in arms try to win Iraqi civilians' hearts and minds.
First, though, just about 19 minutes past the hour. Time for Erica Hill, who is standing by at Headline News to update the other top stories tonight.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Paula. Good to see you.
We start with news that a Marine Corps Harrier jet helicopter crashed into a neighborhood of homes in Yuma, Arizona, today. The jet, which is similar to the one you see on your screen, plowed into two homes just as it was making its final approach to the Yuma Marine Corps Air Station. Now, the pilot did eject from his plane about a mile from where it crashed. There are no reports of deaths or injuries on the ground. Be sure to stay with CNN. We'll continue follow this developing story.
An autopsy done on Terri Schiavo shows her brain was half its size and that she was blind because of massive brain damage. Doctors released the results today. They also said no amount of therapy could have improved her condition.
Military commanders in Afghanistan tell CNN, 17,000 American troops face increasing danger from suicide bombers and roadside bombs. They also say there aren't enough trained Afghan troops to help.
Police in the Caribbean island of Aruba are not saying why they searched the house of one of three suspects who is still being held in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. The Alabama teen has now been missing since May 30.
President Bush says Democrats are blocking his energy policy by opposing environmentally responsible drilling in sensitive areas. The Democrats say the president's policies won't help the U.S. kick the foreign oil habit.
And get a load of this confrontation. All right, watch closely. Actress Nicole Kidman is in the white there in the middle of your screen swooping in on a photographer at the premiere of her new movie, "Bewitched." Now, we're not really sure what they said to each other. But the paparazzi, we're guessing, may have gotten just a little too pushy.
Never want to mess with someone who might turn you into a toad, of course, Paula.
ZAHN: Hey, isn't she Samantha Stephens? Isn't she supposed to, like, twitch her little nose a little and make that guy disappear?
HILL: She should be, yes. Maybe turn him into a toad.
ZAHN: Well, maybe the magic we see on film is not what happens in her real life.
HILL: Paula, don't be ruining this for me. Please.
ZAHN: I won't. I won't tell you what happens at the end of the film.
ZAHN: Thanks, Erica. Check back with you in about half an hour or so.
Time for all you now to vote for our person of the day. Tonight's choices, 11-year-old little leaguer Katie Brownell for being honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame, which has asked for the jersey she wore when she threw a perfect game against the boys. Yay. Sprinter Asafa Powell for becoming the fastest man in the world with a new record for the 100 meters, or Doug Wood for surviving six weeks as a hostage in Iraq, saved by Iraqi troops.
Please now vote at CNN.com/Paula. And we'll let you know who wins a little bit later on in this hour.
In just a minute, though, we'll rejoin the four Pruetts, the brothers in arms, as they take up their duties in Iraq. We'll also see one of them get a very special phone call from home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, talk to daddy. Just give him hell.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ZAHN: Life in Iraq and new life back home.
Please stay with us.
ZAHN: We are back now with our four brothers in arms. We have already watched as Jeff, Eric, Evan and Greg Pruett left their family in Idaho. We followed them through their training.
And now CNN's Alex Quade joins them on duty in northern Iraq.
QUADE (voice-over): In March, I spend time with each Pruett brother at a separate location in Kirkuk.
J. PRUETT: The rocket came in over the top of us and landed about -- about 200 meters from us.
Did you see guys with A.K.'s from that house?
QUADE: Youngest brother, Jeff.
J. PRUETT: Those two shepherds over there said it came from that direction.
QUADE: Is on house-to-house searches.
J. PRUETT: It's not a raid. You just knock and then you go in.
QUADE: Training new Iraqi forces.
J. PRUETT: Let the police go in first and then we follow in behind them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They looked in here, too?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. One of them was already...
QUADE: Jeff just turned 20.
J. PRUETT: Hey, what is your name? Good. Go to school. School is good? You go to school, OK? School. School.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chocolata.
J. PRUETT: I don't got chocolata. Go to school, man.
QUADE (on camera): Do you think that your parents worry more about you because you are the youngest out here?
J. PRUETT: No. I think my mom is scared out of her mind for every one of us.
(LAUGHTER) J. PRUETT: And so, just because we're gone and in a combat zone.
G. PRUETT: All right.
QUADE (voice-over): Middle brother Greg lives at the former summer home of Chemical Ali.
G. PRUETT: This right here is what -- actually where he used to hang and torture some of his people.
QUADE: Chemical Ali is the king of spades in that deck of cards. He's accused of gassing a Kurdish village in the '80s and is awaiting trial.
G. PRUETT: When I first got here, I kind of thought about it a little bit. And it was kind of eerie thinking about it and thinking about what he used to do here.
But you have to put all that aside and just try and focus on what we're doing here and remember that we're trying to help change all of the past.
This is Halcom (ph) on radio check. Over. Hal (ph) base, Hal base, this is Halcom on radio check. Over.
QUADE: Greg is a communications expert.
G. PRUETT: You know, let's say this antenna goes down and we get attacked really bad. We lose communications with the outside. And we can't call for backup if we need it or anything like that.
QUADE: While we are there, a pipeline blows up near the base.
G. PRUETT: They like to blow the pipelines with IEDs or different types of explosives.
QUADE: In this incident, nine Iraqi security guards were killed; 40 percent of Iraq's oil comes from this area. Insurgent attacks cost have $8 billion in lost revenue that could have been used for reconstruction.
G. PRUETT: I think it is a little edgy here sometimes. When you hear the mortars come in and stuff, you just kind of hope and pray that everything is OK.
You know, being a radio operator, I hear everything that goes on. And so, when I hear stuff is happening or hear about IEDs and stuff like that, I just kind of get this queasy feeling in my stomach and say, hopefully, my brothers are OK. Hopefully, the guys out there are OK. And...
ERIC PRUETT: Let's mount up.
The security of the tank can't be replaced by an up-armored Humvee, by any means.
QUADE: Big brother Eric is a tank platoon commander who now patrols Kirkuk by Humvee and on foot.
ERIC PRUETT: Yes. We trained up for six months to come over here and be on tanks. And we showed up. And we used our tanks for about a month before they decided that, up here in Kirkuk, they weren't needed.
QUADE: He's responsible for 23 soldiers and also trains Iraqi police.
ERIC PRUETT: Weapon at the ready? Good. Weapons on safe? No cell phones. No smoking when we are out walking. Make sure we're talking to the people, being friendly, too. That's important.
QUADE: The police here are targeted here by insurgents, even during funerals.
ERIC PRUETT: Is there any civilians hurt?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, two.
ERIC PRUETT: Two hurt?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
QUADE: This was a bomb attack during a procession for one fallen policeman. It killed four others.
ERIC PRUETT: There's been about seven of these guys just within the last month that have given up their lives trying to make this city a safer place.
QUADE: The day after we taped this, Eric's unit found an improvised explosive device here.
ERIC PRUETT: We take it personal. And that is why we've had a renewed effort to try and train these guys to keep themselves alive, because, I mean, if it's not them, it's us.
QUADE: Which is why he needs to know the word on the streets and in the mosques.
ERIC PRUETT: They're just trying to track in the area who's pro- coalition forces, who is anti-, who is neutral.
How are you?
Ask these people how they're doing up here on the roof.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello. How are you?
ERIC PRUETT: Good. How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fine. ERIC PRUETT: It's difficult. We have got two missions here. We got to provide security for ourselves and the people here. But we also got to, at the same time, make the people feel like we're here to help them and not just be occupiers and that sort of thing.
QUADE: And even on patrol...
ERIC PRUETT: Want a piece of candy?
QUADE: ... Eric never stops worrying about his brothers.
ERIC PRUETT: I'm concerned for all of us. I just have to trust that there's guys taking care of my brothers when I can't be there.
EVAN PRUETT: Whatever is broken, they will bring to us and we try to fix it as fast as we can.
QUADE: Evan's job is critical. He fixes the vehicles his brothers and their units use for missions and repairs those damaged by roadside bombs.
EVAN PRUETT: That keeps my brother's unit, you know, that is infantry right now up and running. You know, they got to go through the town and all that, and if they don't have vehicles that work, they can't do their job.
QUADE: In a way, you're still helping the brothers?
EVAN PRUETT: Yes, I'm helping my brothers.
QUADE: Watching their backside?
EVAN PRUETT: Yes. That's how I look at it is, I'm helping my brothers get through their day.
QUADE: While we're taping, a recruiter tries to sign Evan up for six more years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would they pay for my school is what I'm...
QUADE: But Evan's got other things on his mind, like what happened to his wife Amber since we last talked to him. It began with an urgent e-mail from his dad: "Amber's water broke! We will let you know what happens."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just ready for the baby to come already.
QUADE: Evan's mom Tammy (ph) shoots home video, since he can't be here. It's Evan, calling from Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Evan says he's proud of you. Push, push, push.
QUADE: After 24 hours of labor... UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you hear him?
QUADE: Evan hears his daughter's first cries by phone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, talk to daddy. Just give him hell.
QUADE: You are seeing this video even before the new daddy has.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's finally here.
QUADE: At least he was able to call.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's fine. He heard her cry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish I could have been there for my first girl, first kid altogether. I wish I could have been there.
QUADE: So, for now, reenlisting is on Evan's back burner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole thought of being gone away from your family for 18 months, a year, whatever it is going to be, it's tough. I just hope nothing bad happens. I just want us all to be safe and all my brothers and everything to go home and be with our families.
QUADE: Evan, Eric, Greg and Jeff have not seen each other the entire time they've been in Iraq. That will change when we come back.
ZAHN: Tonight, we're following the four Pruett brothers on duty in Iraq. CNN's Alex Quaid has also spent the past year keeping in touch with their family back home in Idaho and recently she arranged for a small family reunion. That's where we pick up our story right now of the "Brothers in Arms."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's up, bro? How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's up!
QUADE: This is the first time Eric, Jeff, Evan and Greg Pruett have seen each other in four months.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Pruett around here.
QUADE: I arranged with the U.S. Army to reunite them in April.
What is it like actually getting a chance to spend a little time together?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To have a familiar face around is just -- it's priceless. You know? It does so much for our morale.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The comfort of actually seeing each other and saying, OK, I have seen him. I know he's OK.
QUADE: They look different?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Eric's getting a little pudge belly, but...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No way. I'll still whoop him.
QUADE: Between the kidding, they share what they've seen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seeing all the kids and what poverty they live in makes you think about what you have back home. Makes you grow up, makes you more mature and more of a man.
QUADE: Evan, do you think that your little brother here is grown up and more of a man?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, my little brother's more of a man but I'm still more of a man than he is. I got a baby now so I -- that's why I feel like more of a man but, yes. My little brother grown up a lot since we've been deployed.
QUADE: But none of them have outgrown surprises. We deliver care packages from their mom and dad.
One for Eric.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
QUADE: One for Greg, and I suppose we also have one for Jeff. So, little something from home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's better than Christmas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, that's awesome. I got a cute little Easter bunny.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes the holidays get lost until you get a care package and it reminds you of what's going on in the world around us. A purple bunny.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got the orange bunny.
QUADE: Now, is this something you're going to bring out on patrols? Do you need an orange bunny with you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if it'll go out on patrol, but it will stay near the bed somewhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just a perfect stuff to take you back just a little bit on your down time.
QUADE: Not only have they missed Easter, but also, the wedding of Aaron, their other brother back home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I miss him a lot. You know, I just -- I remember -- I just had a quick thought when I was walking down the aisle and I was looking and, you know, and just none of my brothers were there.
QUADE: This is actually another family reunion, an electronic one, in May.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't imagine what it was like in World War I. You know, soldiers would wait for months just to get a letter.
QUADE: Via webcam, Greg confides in his dad Lee, another Iraq vet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were retaking the PT test and the (INAUDIBLE) came in while they were doing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh jeez.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the day they're firing them, too, on you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Usually happens in the mid-afternoon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, man. They're getting pretty gutsy.
QUADE: Back home only a year, Lee is keenly aware of the realities his sons face.
LEE PRUETT: I've seen a lot of Army units and National Guard Reserve units while I was there. Some took it real serious. Some didn't.
QUADE: Is this something that you told them about before...
LEE PRUETT: We had that talk alot, yes, before they left. I told them, I said, guys look. It's going to be dangerous out there and there's -- could be a point where it's going to be you or them, and you got to decide what you've got to do. You know? If you've got to take a shot, then you take the shot. Do what you need to do, and I think they're doing that.
QUADE: I show the family some of what the boys are doing with our video.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just last night, we got rocketed that flew over our head when we were outside and blew up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm hoping I get to see my baby take her first step. It would be an exciting thing for -- you know, I missed the birth, so seeing her take the first step might be a little replacement. But, if not, then, you know, I will see her say her first daddy or something.
QUADE: Eric, what do you think is important for your parents to know?
ERIC PRUETT: I think that they need to know that we are all doing really well being together. We've all got jobs to do here and we are all doing them and we're all happy that we can be here to serve our country and we're proud of our parents for bringing up such fine young men.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hard seeing them and not being able to...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what they -- what they said at the end about -- that they're proud to be there, that's what they tell us every time we talk to them, is they're proud to be there. They know that they're there for a purpose and the sacrifice that they're making is worth it.
QUADE: Their sister Emily.
EMILY PRUETT, SISTER: I think Jeff looked older. I think he seems more grown up. It's hard because we're the same age and I feel like all that I do is play and take for granted and he is there seeing things that are scary and being in situations that are scary. And that's kind of hard.
QUADE: Evan's wife, Amber.
AMBER PRUETT, WIFE OF EVAN PRUETT: I worry that something could happen to him and she could never know her dad and it scares me.
QUADE: Then -- a phone call from Iraq.
L. PRUETT: What is wrong?
QUADE: Jeff is in a field hospital.
L. PRUETT: He's sick?
T. PRUETT: He's sick?
L. PRUET: So you're still doing I.V.s? Are they still shooting I.V.'s into you then, or are done with that part?
QUADE: But luckily, nothing more serious than food poisoning.
L. PRUETT: Well, I love you. You've -- take care when you go back out on patrol, OK?
All right. I love you, hon.
Jeff's been sick in bed for the last four days and Eric showed up, walks right up to the bed and got to take care of him. We're actually blessed to have four of them over there because they do take care of each other.
QUADE: The phone call was a reminder: Jeff, Eric, Evan and Greg have been away from home an entire year already.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is important for people to know the sacrifices that we're all making here. Not only me and my brothers, but every and person that's here. Hopefully, to make the place a more free society; that they might be able to share in a little bit of what we have back home.
QUADE: The Pruetts of Pocatello, just one of nearly 140,000 American families with loved ones in Iraq.
ZAHN: Incredible portraits of bravery and sacrifice. Alex Quade, who spent a year following the Pruett brothers, joins me now.
You were there for so many intimate moments in this family's lives. The cross-section of danger meeting birth -- it's extraordinary what we have just witnessed for the last 40 minutes.
QUADE: Well, and it was so generous of this family to allow us and our cameras to be there for these very private moments. I mean, we were there and this stuff was happening right in front of us. They're getting these phone calls, they're experiencing -- you know experiencing things that -- danger and trauma and just true emotion and they let us all share with them in these moments.
ZAHN: I guess as you watch all four of them and see this amazing commitment they have to this country, it makes you wonder how common it is for brothers to be serving and be in the same rotation in Iraq. Are there any rules to govern that?
QUADE: There are.
It's the great question because a lot of people have seen the movie "Saving Private Ryan" and they said, "I didn't know that brothers -- or brothers and sisters, family members -- could be deployed together, or could be in a war zone serving together."
And there really is not an absolute military rule that they cannot serve together or serve in the same combat zone. But there is a -- and this is where it gets a little delicate and -- if something does happen, then a sole surviving son or daughter -- the sole surviving family member -- they would not be required to go to combat. They would be able to request to be reassigned.
ZAHN: It was so painful to watch their mother and what she has endured. Because on one hand, she shows such incredible strength and then when she gets that phone call and you're thinking the worst. And it's still pretty bad, her son has been sick for four days in a hospital. You can just begin to imagine that rollercoaster ride she is on.
QUADE: Well, and she's really -- she's the matriarch and she said to me that every day she thinks it's her job to get up, to put on a happy face, to put on a smile, to let everybody in the family know that she is there, she's supporting them, she's praying for them. And she also mentioned something which was interesting was that her husband, she said, " Well now he knows what it feels like," because her husband Lee, he had been deployed for a year before...
ZAHN: With another one of her sons.
QUADE: Yes. With the other son Eren and they'd been off for a entire year before the other four brothers got called up. And she said, you know, "Now he knows what it feels like to be waiting for those phone calls and; to be waiting for word of the sons."
ZAHN: Well, you saw that in his face as he's sitting there in the sofa and he is overwhelmed by the pride he feels and I'm sure, by the danger he knows his sons have to confront day in and day out.
QUADE: Well, and that's the other thing: All of these brothers -- and I apologize to mom and dad here -- but they all say, you know, they don't tell their parents everything that's going on over there.
ZAHN: And why would they? would never sleep.
QUADE: They don't want to worry them that much.
And they know that their dad, Lee -- that he was over there. He does know that there's a lot going on that they don't talk about, but he said to me that, "It's harder for him to be at home now waiting than it is when he was deployed," and that he would, "readily change places with any single one of his sons." And that, you know, they just keep praying for them that they'll be OK.
ZAHN: Well, of all the wonderful images you shared with us tonight, there's that lingering image of that brand-new baby crying on the telephone, the father hearing it thousands and thousands of miles away for the very first time.
QUADE: Wasn't that just amazing? It was just lucky that she was able to get the e-mail and then able to make it to a phone to be able to be part of that.
ZAHN: Alex Quade, thank you, so much.
You can find out more about the Pruetts on our website. There is an article by our very own Alex, as well as a picture gallery of the family.
That's at CNN.com/Paula.
Ashley Smith, the woman who calmed down the alleged gunman in the Atlanta courthouse shootings, has now made a new commitment.
The details coming up, next.
ZAHN: And at 12 minutes before the hour, it's time to check in with Larry King, who's coming up at the top of the hour.
Hi, Larry. Who's joining you tonight?
KING: Hi, Paula. You look terrific.
ZAHN: Thank you.
KING: Jermaine Jackson joins us tonight; his first on-camera appearance since the very happy verdict for the Jackson family on Monday.
Jermaine Jackson for the hour -- with phone calls -- from his home in Encino, California. We'll get all the latest on Michael and the postmortem.
That's right ahead, Paula.
ZAHN: Any chance he's going to be getting the little brother on the phone for you tonight?
KING: Wouldn't that be nice?
ZAHN: Wouldn't that be nice?
KING: We'll see.
ZAHN: All right.
We'll keep an eye on you tonight.
Thanks, Larry. See you at the top of the hour.
KING: Thanks, Paula. Bye.
ZAHN: Infertility affects one-in-ten couples of child bearing age. That's about six million couples, desperate for children, willing to try just about anything.
Coming up, the cost: Physical, emotional, and financial of the baby chase.
But first, time for another look at the latest headlines with Erica Hill of HEADLINE NEWS -- Erica?
ERICA HILL, ANCHOR, HEADLINE NEWS: Thanks, Paula.
In Iran, four bombings in the last 72 hours have led to tightened security for Friday's presidential election. The interior minister called one explosion quote, "A professional act by terrorists linked to abroad." One presidential candidate left the race today, leaving a field of seven hoping to succeed Reformist President Mohammad Khatami.
Sixteen suspected Islamic terrorists, including five linked to last year's Madrid train station bombing, have been arrested by police in Spain. Eleven of the suspects were linked to the al-Zarqawi terror network and allegedly were recruiting suicide bombers. One suspect blew himself up as the police closed in on his hideout.
On Capitol Hill today, the House voted to prevent the FBI and Justice Department from using the Patriot Act to search library and bookstore records. Lawmakers voted 238 to 187 against the provision of the anti-terrorism act that aims to identify terrorist suspects by their reading habits. The measure has yet to win approval in the Senate.
And a book helped to save her life, and now wouldn't you know it, she's got a book deal of her own. In March, Ashley Smith helped bring an end to the manhunt that followed the Atlanta Courthouse killings. Authorities say suspect Brian Nichols held her hostage for seven hours, but he agreed to release her after reading a passage from "The Purpose Driven Life." Ms. Smith says she plans to donate some proceeds from her book to a fund to honor the victims.
And Paula, that is the latest from Headline News at this hour. Back over to you.
ZAHN: Thanks so much, Erica.
Six million American couples have trouble getting pregnant. And more and more they're going to extremes to fulfill their dreams of eventually having a baby. Tomorrow, we will spend the entire hour with some of those couples, including one husband and wife who succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.
ZAHN (voice-over): The odds of what happened to Abbey Hartmann are one in 25 million. She gave birth to quadruplets who are two sets of identical twins.
(on camera): I love that little tuft of hair sticking up on your head. You have a little Mohawk.
(voice-over): Meet Max.
(on camera): Oh. Nice, Sid. Good job.
ABBY HARTMANN, MOTHER OF QUADRUPLETS: She always has this little strawberry on the top of her head.
A. HARTMANN: So that's how you know Emmy from (INAUDIBLE)
ZAHN (on camera): I haven't met Emmy yet. Hi, Emmy. (voice-over): And the tiniest, Lucy.
A. HARTMANN: She doesn't eat as much as everybody, but starting to catch up a little bit.
ZAHN: At least that's who I think she is.
A. HARTMANN: That's Max.
ZAHN (on camera): Max. Sorry. You're good. See? There's no way I can tell them apart.
What a blessing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; It is.
GEORG HARTMANN, FATHER OF QUADRUPLETS: It is.
A. HARTMANN: It is.
ZAHN: I'm not going to be one of those people who says what happened to you? Which is sort of the reaction you get wherever you travel, isn't it?
A. HARTMANN: All the time.
G. HARTMANN: And people feel free to stop you in the middle of what you're doing. You know, you're in the middle of a grocery store. You're going through the aisles and you're looking for cereal. And somebody will just -- or you're on a cell phone at the same time -- and somebody will just interrupt you and ask a question.
ZAHN: It's almost as though you're a carnival spectacle now.
A. HARTMANN: Absolutely.
G. HARTMANN: Definitely.
ZAHN: Will you get used to that?
A. HARTMANN: We're starting to. A little bit. We are starting to kind of...
G. HARTMANN: It's getting easier.
ZAHN (voice-over): Three years ago, if you asked Abby and husband Georg, they didn't even know if they could have babies. You see, Abby couldn't get pregnant.
A. HARTMANN: Very, very frustrating, because I thought it would be so easy. I didn't get pregnant. And the next month, nothing happened. And it kept, like, you know, not working. So, I just couldn't believe it. And I knew it was me, because I knew there was something going on in my body that wasn't quite right.
ZAHN: Abby and Georg's life threatening journey to have a family is truly amazing.
A. HARTMANN: I think that's progesterone cream.
ZAHN: They borrowed tens of thousands of dollars to get pregnant. It cost nearly $4.5 million in medical bills to stay pregnant and make sure the babies survived.
A. HARTMANN: It was so frightening. We really, really didn't know if we were going to get all four babies home. One day, one of our daughters diagnosed with, you know, bleeding on the brain. The next day, she had bacterial meningitis.
G. HARTMANN: Then, the next day Max's lung collapsed. So, I mean, it was always something.
A. HARTMANN: Every day first two months, every day was something.
ZAHN: It's roller coaster ride that will leave you wondering how babies this fragile could ever survive. And how do their parents cope with it all?
A. HARTMANN: I just wish they felt better. And I feel bad.
ZAHN: The answers tomorrow night on "The Baby Chase."
ZAHN: Well, tonight -- well, tomorrow night -- we'll also be catching up with Brook Shields who will talk about the heartbreak of trying in vitro not one time, two times, but seven times ultimately succeeding.
And we'll also be talking to Joan Lunden who now is the very proud mother to four babies under the age of 3. She very much wanted to have her own children after the age of 50. And she will tell us about her journey of surrogacy tomorrow night. All of that on "The Baby Chase."
Coming up next, though, "the Person of the Day?" Will it be Katie Brownell, the 11-year-old girl who pitched a perfect little league game. The baseball Hall of Fame actually wants her jersey. Asafa Powell, a sprinter who has the new fastest man in the world record. Or freed hostage Doug Wood, rescued by Iraqi troops after six weeks in captivity? Find out when we come back.
ZAHN: All right. Now it is time to figure out -- or find out who "The Person of the Day" is. Katie Brownell, the 11-year-old pitcher who threw a perfect game against the boys? Sprinter Asafa Powell, the new fastest man in the world in the 100 meters? Or former hostage in Iraq Douglas Wood just rescued by Iraqi troops?
And the winner with 47 percent, drum roll, please, rescued hostage Douglas Wood. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
DOUGLAS WOOD, RESCUED HOSTAGE: God bless America!
ZAHN (voice-over): No wonder Douglas Wood is in a good mood, after 47 days in captivity, he is a free man. Wood, an Australian, says he is an engineer. And lives with his American wife in Alamo, California. He was kidnapped on April 30.
Wood says his captors treated him pretty fair, even though he was kicked in the head at one point. And had been fed lots of bread and water.
Soldiers from the Iraqi Army discovered Wood tied up in a house during a sweep through a Baghdad neighborhood. The day that also freed an Iraqi hostage. Wood says his captors heard them coming.
WOOD: Shooting outside. And they came in, covered me over with a blanket -- they ripped off my hood. Put a blanket over me. And then yelling and screaming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Busted in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE; Knocked down the furniture and everything.
WOOD: Then a gun actually fired inside the room. It was a bit scary. I heard my fellow patients -- or whoever he was still alive and I'm still alive. Took the blanket over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a good day.
ZAHN: A good day for Douglas Wood who you've picked as "The Person of the Day."
ZAHN: And the smile says it all.
Thanks so much for being with us tonight. Have a great night.
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