Father and Son Soldiers -- June 19, 2005

A weekly feature on This Week.

Voices/Images

Of the 300 or so Army generals in the U.S. military, about one-third of them have sons or daughters who have served -- or are now serving -- in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the sons is Capt. Anthony Odierno, who was wounded in action on Baghdad's airport road. His father, Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, commanded the team that captured Saddam Hussein. They made the cover of Newsweek, and are this week's "Voices."

Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno: "I realized that very shortly it [Saddam's capture] was going to come out on the news. And I called my wife, and I told her to turn on the TV. And she goes, 'What for?' And I said, 'I can't tell you. Just turn on your TV.' So they turn the TV on, and they got to see what had occurred.

"When you go in with overwhelming force-- He knew, and he was in the bottom of a hole. So there's no way he could fight back. So he was just caught like a rat. It was a nice thing that was able to happen."

Capt. Anthony Odierno: "I think seeing how he enjoyed being in the military and how fulfilled he was coming home from work-- I mean, he did tell me what it's done for him and how good it's been for him, but I never felt pressured to go into the military at all. I felt like it was always my decision."

Lt. Gen. Odierno: "We have the common bond of being in the military. It's about honor. It's about living by your word. It's about being proud of your country. It's about serving your country in some way."

Capt. Odierno: "A lot of advice he had given me is, 'You'll never be wrong if you always do what you think is the right thing to do.' And that's something that I've taken with me.

"I got hurt, wounded on Aug. 21, 2004, in an RPG attack in which my driver was killed, my gunner was wounded, and I obviously lost my left arm."

Lt. Gen. Odierno: "While I was commander over in Iraq, we had deaths. We had several injuries, and every one of them is extremely difficult to deal with. But it's always-- It's different when it happens to your son or your daughter, and you've seen them since they were babies and grow up, and it has an effect on you."

Capt. Odierno: "You go through a lot of tough times. I mean, that can break a family apart, but it also can bring it together really close. And that's what it's done with us.

"One of the things that I think he instilled in me most is always doing the right thing and doing what you think is right. I think he got a lot of that from the military and from his father."

Lt. Gen. Odierno: "What was most important to my father was that I made the best of all my abilities. And so all he did was try to encourage me and ensure that I would strive to do the best I could."

Funnies

The Late Show with David Letterman:

Letterman: "You've heard all the grumbling and complaints coming out of Guantanamo, where they have the al Qaeda detainees. You've heard about this. They're saying they are being mistreated. They say that they are subjected to mild, non-injurious physical contact. Let's go through that again -- mild, non-injurious physical contact. I mean, it's like going six rounds with Mike Tyson."

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:

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