EDITH LEDERER: In "My First War," veteran foreign correspondent Edie Lederer recalls what it was like to be a young, cocky reporter covering her first war for the Associated Press. From feature stories on American combat pilots and villages hit by rocket fire to reporting on the flawed 1973 peace agreement and the release of the first U.S. prisoners of war, Lederer chronicles the camaraderie among reporters as well as the intense competition between news agencies. On the day she left Vietnam, she wrote to her family about the eight months that changed her life. "Professionally, it was the kind of challenge you dream about and fear at the same time. And I loved that about it. I loved the people and the places and my colleagues and that indescribable level of excitement that you live with day in and day out -- to the point that it becomes commonplace. Perhaps most of all, I proved to myself that I could compete in the so-called ‘big league.’"

Edith Lederer, an award-winning reporter for the Associated Press, covered wars and political upheavals around the world for twenty-five years before returning to New York in 1998 to be the AP’s chief correspondent at the United Nations.

To contact Edith, email elederer@ap.org.