"60 Minutes" was there when 34-year-old Capt. Patrick "Frenchy" Rapicault joined the list of more than 4,000 U.S. servicemen and women who have died in Iraq since the war began. With an accent that was part France and part Mississippi, "Frenchy" was an unusual Marine -- and a memorable character for the "60 Minutes" crew reporting in Iraq back in 2004.
As commander of Whiskey Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Rapicault was the kind of captain who "leads from the front," said Scott Pelley in his "60 Minutes" report. On November 15, 2004, our crew accompanied Rapicault on patrol when a car packed with explosives pulled up next to one of Whiskey Company's Humvees and exploded. Three Marines were killed, including the man who helped our broadcast understand what the combat in Iraq is like, the captain some called "Frenchy."