Spc. Chris McCann,
2nd BCT PAO, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI)
In a war that has perhaps been even hotter in debates than it is on the streets of Baghdad, the one constant in the media has been “spin.”
It was fitting, then, that Bill O’Reilly, host of the Fox News talk show “The O’Reilly Factor” – dubbed the No Spin Zone - came to visit the Camp Striker, Iraq dining facility Dec. 15.
O’Reilly visited the Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and other units based on Camp Striker to thank them for their service, he said.
“I came to see the Soldiers and say thanks to all the forces ,” he said. “That’s our primary purpose over here.”
O’Reilly had lunch at the dining facility, greeting Soldiers and civilians alike before autographing hats and shirts emblazoned with the title of his latest book, “Culture Warrior.” He posed for photographs with Soldiers as well.
Sgt. 1st Class Vivienne Pacquette of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and a supply non-commissioned officer for the 2nd BCT had the opportunity to eat next to O’Reilly and speak with him.
“He was very down-to-earth and easy to talk to,” she said.
“I asked him why he’d come, and I was impressed that he said it was just to say thanks. It’s great to see a person of that stature to have such passion for the troops,” Pacquette said. “He’s in a position to talk to Americans about what we’re doing here.”
O’Reilly said that he found the experience a little different than he’d expected.
“The camp is interesting,” he said. “I’m impressed with the organization here – the camp is a lot bigger than I expected.”
Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Lashbrook, brigade food advisor and native of Conroe, Texas, who arranged some of the specifics of the visit, was pleased with the event, he said.
“Most of the Soldiers seemed to like having him come over and meet and greet,” said Lashbrook. “The reaction was very, very positive.”
“It’s my privilege to come and say hello,” O’Reilly added. “I hope everyone stays safe.”