And Then There was Silence

American Forces Network Radio–Iraq, known as “Freedom Radio,” ended its eight-year-plus run of broadcasting in Baghdad. The station’s closure came as the US military’s pullout of Iraq entered its final 100 days before the end-of-year deadline. The station went off the air at midnight on Sept. 23 after playing its most requested song, “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue,” by Toby Keith. The final day of broadcast was filled with listener requests, entertainment, and special interviews.”We had shout-outs from celebrities, interviews with military leaders, and the famed Adrian Cronauer,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class Don Dees. Cronauer is the former Vietnam War-era AFN radio host. Army Reserve broadcasters operated AFN-Iraq since it hit the airwaves in March 2003, when the US-led coalition invaded Iraq. The station was meant to help boost troop morale. (AFPS report by Terri Moon Cronk)