Oklahoma war correspondent, professor, remembers slain journalist
By Keaton Fox
Scenes from veteran war correspondent and Oklahoman Mike Boettcher's film the Hornet's Nest show the violence and chaos of war.It documents the dangers for troops overseas and the reporters that cover them."People think we're addicted to war or we're addicted to conflict. Really, I think, I'm not," Boettcher said.This week, Boettcher is remembering a friend and colleague James Foley---brutally executed at the hands of ISIS in Syria."He was just a very calm guy. And there is a certain trait that people like Jim have that go out and do this. You have to remain calm in really chaotic situations and not panic. And Jim wasn't a guy who panicked. Just an affable, very personable guy."Boettcher knows about danger. In 1985, while working overseas, he too, stared death in the face at the hands of terrorists in San Salvador."They accused us of being spies and said they were going to execute us. They kept us for a day, drove us around, we're on the floor of this van, took us to the back side of the volcano where bodies were dumped and people were executed and I thought well, this could be it," Boettcher said.Despite that and Foley's death, Boettcher says he's going back to bring new stories home."When journalism is under assault, or someone's killed trying to cover a story, that's not the time we pull back, that's the time we pour into somewhere."
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