Day three of our tour and we are now in Birmingham, Alabama. We almost didn't all make it here. Let me explain.
Yesterday, we were in Ft. Benning, Georgia doing a story about children there whose parents were serving in Iraq. We were editing our story for the evening news in a classroom at an Elementary School on Ft. Benning. (In case you didn't know, people who works in television news are a little like carnival people. They will lay down "roots" anywhere.)
As our deadline approached, it became clear that we would need some video we didn't have -- specifically some scenic pictures of the base.
Photographer Mark LaGanga jumped in his truck with producer Mike Solmsen to get the shots. I wasn't there but as I understand it, Mark was hanging out of the window of the truck to get some rolling video along a street.
Apparently, on a military base that's not a great idea. Within a few minutes, the Military Police were questioning our crew and the word "detained" may or may not have been thrown around.
Ultimately, the public affairs officer assigned to us -- saved them, the video Mark shot and ultimately, our story. We are all thankful. Now, I'm just trying to get my hands on Mark and Mike's mug-shots. (Only kidding. Sort of.)
As for today's story in Birmingham, we found something you would never expect to see in the South -- people protesting the war. And Susan Mims, one woman we visited with, is the last person you would expect to be protesting -- she's a former Navy recruiter. Susan says the anti-war movement in Birmingham is small, but growing. And as we saw, it has a lot of growing to do. We caught up with Susan at an anti-war protest that had all of 15 people attending.
She says she sees a lot of apathy out here. It disappoints her. But she says she considers it her patriotic duty to speak her mind.