RUSH: I have gotten to know via e-mail a couple of great friends in the US Military, the US Air Force. I’ll take you back, with a very brief lead-in here. This has to be three years ago now, maybe four. I walked home one day, got home one day, and there was a FedEx, and I opened the box, and it was an American flag in a Ziploc bag and a number of certificates validating that the flag had been flown on all those aircraft in the original invasion of Iraq, in my honor. It brought tears to my eyes. The letter explaining this was handwritten on legal pad from Mark Hasara, who flew the DC-10 or the KC-10 tanker that refueled all these attack jets on the original bomb run, and, in the process of my getting to know Colonel Hasara, he told me about his good friend Tazz, Joseph Katuzienski, who is all over (laughs) the Middle East wreaking havoc on the enemy. We last heard from Tazz in an e-mail when he threw the French refrigerator off the top of the Baghdad International control tower; the refrigerator made in France, it continued to fail. And I’ve become e-mail buddies with Tazz, and he’s been wanting to come on the program and describe for the American people the success they’re having. So we have with us from somewhere parts unknown in Iraq, Joseph Katuzienski. Welcome, Tazz, to the program. It’s great to have you here.
TAZZ: Rush, it’s an honor to speak with you. Thank you.
RUSH: Now, what is it, Tazz, that you wanted to tell everybody? Let me say this. The e-mails that I get from you are constantly describing victory. You’re describing great success in what you’re doing. Are you directly involved in the so-called surge with your Air Force guys?
TAZZ: Absolutely, Rush. The Air Force has been surging to, you know, conduct our combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we’re doing one heck of a great job. It’s inspiring, Rush, to see the looks on these airmen and these soldiers’ faces when you’re out there with them, working with them every day, and it’s not just Americans. The three-two Georgian Brigade out there in Iraq is doing just a great job, and the Iraqi army themselves, I had personal experience with. Rush, if you see it on their faces, it’s inspiring, and some people may think, ‘You know, we’ve been at this war for so long right now.’ People just want to throw in the towel and, you know, hang up their efforts and just go home, but not so. Victory is in the air. These guys are working hard, the airmen are flying every day, 24/7, you name it. You mentioned Sluggo, my friend, my close personal friend. We’re out here, Rush. We’re taking it to the enemy, and it’s an honor and a privilege to do this on behalf of the American people.
RUSH: Are you able to watch daily newscasts from the United States?
TAZZ: Well, we get CNN and we get Fox and all those things. Yeah. I don’t personally watch them that much, Rush. We’re so busy, you know, keeping our nose to the grindstone in the fight, but, no, we’re able to watch all those shows. Yeah, we do, but not as much as you’d think we would. We’re so busy just keeping at it —
RUSH: Have you noticed —
TAZZ: — 24/7, you know?
RUSH: Have you noticed, Tazz…? Well, you haven’t probably been able to watch enough to notice, but the Iraq war is not really being covered much on CNN or PMSNBC or ABC, NBC, CBS. You really can’t find a whole lot about the Iraq war going on the news these days, and there’s a simple reason for it: You are succeeding! You’re having immense success. The enemy is being shellacked and they’re retreating and they’re in many cases heading to Afghanistan or even Pakistan, and it’s noticeable. I made the prediction not long ago: the Iraq war is not even going to be a feature of this presidential campaign, barring some other new event that comes up. But I think the efforts by the American left in this country to secure defeat have themselves been defeated and they’re now into retreat. So the stamina and the staying power of all of you people in uniform — knowing full well that too large a percentage of this country has been invested in your defeat. It has been beaten back. You guys really are a tribute to the best and brightest this country has.
TAZZ: Well, thanks, Rush. It’s an honor to hear you say that. It’s inspiring, like I said before, to see these folks out here doing the work every day, and I’m humbled by their hard work, by their courage. A lot of these guys left their families behind to fight this war, and the families back home are paying a big price for us being out here, but we’re in the fight for freedom. We can see victory on the face of the people in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we’re keeping at it, Rush. From my perspective, it’s working. But we need to keep at it. Absolutely.
RUSH: How many tours have you done in Iraq?
TAZZ: Well, this is my third tour in the Middle East. My first tour was back in Desert Storm. I flew F-15 fighters way back then.
RUSH: How long has it been since you had leave and were back home in the United States?
TAZZ: The last time I was back in the United States was in July this past year, Rush.
RUSH: For how long?
TAZZ: Just under a month. I went back home for a month for some family reasons, and I’m back. I haven’t been back since, but, you know, time flies when you’re out here, and I miss my family, like we all do, and we think about them often. But we need to win this fight and that’s why I’m here, and all the other airmen that work beside me are as well.
RUSH: Where’s your family? When you go home here in the United States, Tazz, where do you go?
TAZZ: I live in Virginia, Rush.
RUSH: Northern or southern?
TAZZ: Does it matter? (laughs)
TAZZ: Southern. I’m a Virginia Tech, fan, okay? I’ll get it out there. I’m a Virginia Tech fan, even though I graduated from the University of Kansas way back when, but we’re from the Norfolk area right by the Navy base, the Marine Corps base, Little Creek, and 1st Fighter Wing at Langley.
RUSH: Well, Tazz, it’s great to finally talk to you, and every time we get a call here from a member of the military serving overseas in whatever theater, I try to make it a point to tell you how much awe and appreciation there is from the majority of the many people for what you’ve volunteered to do — and it’s great that the audience here on this program can hear your devotion and your enthusiasm to the cause, because that in itself is inspirational and infectious. When are you going to get home? Do you have any idea?
TAZZ: I should be home fairly soon, Rush. I can’t really tell you the exact date. My wife knows when I’m coming home. That’s all that matters right now. But we’re out here fighting for freedom. It’s a tough fight; it’s a good fight. You know, America — I think you’ve heard this once before — we’re the land of the free because of the brave, and we’re at it. We’re keeping at it, Rush, and thanks so much for supporting our troops and our airmen, soldiers, Marines out here every day out on point. It’s a tough job, but it’s well worth the effort.
RUSH: Tazz, it’s an honor to know people like you, and it’s an even bigger honor to be able to support you. God bless you, all the best, and a safe trip home, sir.
TAZZ: Thanks Rush. It’s been an honor talking to you. Take care.
RUSH: Joe Katuzienski from somewhere, parts unknown, in the Air Force, in Iraq, taking it to the enemy.