Local News

Local Soldier Survives Iraq Blast That Killed CBS Crew Members

Posted May 30, 2006

— Pictures of violence in Iraq seem like they are a world away, but early Tuesday morning that world got a whole lot closer for Wendy Rietvelt when she got a call at her Raleigh home from her stepson.

"He asked me if I had heard about the CBS people who had been killed in the convoy," Rietvelt said of the 3 a.m. phone call she received. "I said, 'Well, I'd heard a little bit.' I didn't know much else, and he said, 'Well, that was our convoy.'"

Twenty-year-old Scott Rietvelt is with the Fourth Infantry Division stationed in Baghdad.

"He said, 'We were driving down the road, and my commander and I got out of our humvee, and the next thing I knew the car blew up,'" Rietvelt said.

Four people were killed, including two members of a CBS news crew, a soldier and an interpreter. Seven others were wounded, including a network reporter and six soldiers.

"You know, the first thing I thought of is (that) God's hand protected him, period, and that's all you can do, period," Rietvelt said.

Rietvelt said her son's ordeal didn't really "hit home" for her until she got a copy of The New York Times on Tuesday morning and saw the story on the front page.

"I looked at the paper this morning and cried knowing that was his unit," she said.

In about a week, Scott Rietvelt is due home on leave for the first time since December. His stepmother said they have a lot of catching up to do, especially now after what he's been through.

"(I am) very blessed, and I hope he comes home next week, for a little while," Rietvelt said.

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