While serving as a broadcast journalist with the Illinois National Guard, Justin Savage had some heavy stuff to report being under enemy fire numerous times. On Thursday, via satellite, he spoke of his experiences with his parents listening intently to his every word.
Aside from sending his love back home, Savage talked about his achievements in Mosul, and reporting on the building of new schools and pipelines.
However, the 24-year-old said problems can always pop up, so he's forced to carry a gun in one hand, a camera in another. It's a fact that Justin's mother said is difficult to stomach.
"It breaks your heart to know that he's in a situation like that and all you can do is hope for the best and that he stays out of harm's way and that you'll be hearing from him real soon," Rachel Ralph said.
But despite sporadic hostility, Savage says the vast majority of Iraqis love the work the soldiers are accomplishing daily and often run to them on the streets.
Knowing his son is reporting on the real Iraq makes Roger Savage a tremendously proud father.
"Sometimes not all the stories get reported and the things that they're doing to help the economy and the infrastructure. It's really good to hear that he's part of that," Roger said.