In the “war on Iraq” there are heroes who do not get the recognition they deserve. These heroes are the hard-working men and women of the press.

Think about this for a minute, soldiers (whom I consider heroes as well) have guns. Big guns at that. Journalists, if they are afforded anything at all, usually end up with a measly pistol. A weapon which they have not been properly trained to use. Since they tend to be in just as much danger as the military, they end up being more at risk on the battlefield.

These brave men and women bring the war into our homes. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to find out how our loved ones fighting on the front lines were doing, or which side was able to make what gains.

Granted, some media outlets (i.e.: CNN) are extremely biased, and tend to distort the facts with their pro-American views. A journalist’s integrity, I like to believe, will win out most of the time.

The fact of the matter is these people risk their lives getting the story to us in our comfortable living rooms. They go days or weeks with nary a wink of sleep. All the while getting shot at or bombed, among other things. Then on the odd occasion, they die.

In fact, 14 journalists have been killed worldwide since Jan. 1, nine in Iraq alone. Another 127 have been imprisoned since the beginning of the year.

They are nothing short of role models. They are people that everyday folk can look up to in admiration. Although some of the media can be called questionable at best (paparazzi), these journalists are doing a job that most people can’t or won’t. Kids should want to grow up to be just like them.

Journalists sometimes have a bad reputation, but making a difference in the world while risking your life is not an easy task. Watching the latest developments in Iraq, my respect and admiration grew considerably for each and every one of them. They go there knowing they might die; yet they fight to get to the front lines.

There are many honorable professions, but when you compare journalism to pro sports, well you have to laugh at the irony. Baseball players “average” $2 million a year, and make mistakes throughout their careers. Journalists make considerably less money, yet are chastised the minute they screw up.

I never knew a baseball player who risked their life on the playing field.

In Iraq, honour only seems to come to a member of the media when they die. Only then are they afforded the respect they deserve. Otherwise they are pretty much taken for granted and seen as pawns. Expendable bodies.

That’s the cruel reality, and it won’t change anytime soon.

My heart goes out to all the men, women and children in Iraq on both sides of the lines.

Especially the journalists.