Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Freedom Journal Iraq

My friend asked me in one of her comments...
Just finished watching "The Quiet American." Anyhow...despite Brendan Frazier being a bad actor in the made me think about combat journalism and what stories you might be covering. Are you allowed to tell us what kinds of stories you're covering in the news over there?

So I want to take a few minutes of your time to tell you what YOUR military is doing over here and then show you how Freedom Journal Iraq is covering it. We're right in the middle of the "Surge of Operations." These operations are designed to seek out and remove Al Qaeda in Iraq, rouge and splinter groups of the Jaysh Al Maddi, Iranin Cupds Corp, and any other enemy of Iraq or Coalition Forces. The success of these operations by themselves will not result in a victory in Iraq. Rather, they will provide the time and space needed for Iraqi lawmakers to develop a fair and equitable Rule of Law and enable Iraqis take the lead in their own country. Freedom Journal Iraq is committed to highlighting success and progress being made by Coalition and Iraqi Forces...Kinetic and Non-Kinetic. Kinetically, we continue to detain insurgents, capture or kill terrorists, find weapons caches, and drop bombs on the bad guys. These type of operations is what you generally see in the media. However, you see all of the negative fall out from it. Here is what you missed:

With every victory on the battlefield, more and more local citizens are stepping up to defend their own cities. There is a buzz surrounding "Concerned Citizens." The Commanding General in Iraq, Dave Petraeus routinely walks through neighborhoods which months ago were ravaged by insurgents and zapped of their livelihood and shows the progress being made. You may have never heard about how cities up and down Iraq are returning to "normal!"

Last week we highlighted all of the Non-Kinetic success in Iraq. We had the Army Corp of Engineers, Gulf Region Division come in and talk about all of the electricity sub-stations, water systems, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure projects completed and under way in Iraq.

Of course we also spend a great deal of time talking about capturing high ranking Al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists. We have two ways of telling this story. One is called a Look Live that we package in our newscast and send out to the Pentagon Channel for broadcast. The other is a brand new element called the "Raid Report." This product is a true testament to the quality of broadcasters I have on my team over here. I basically said, "Hey, I've got an idea...I think it should look like this..." Those who know me, I like to pretend I can draw, so I took my recycled paper on my desk a drew a rough sketch of what I was thinking about. This is the final result:

Final Thoughts:
No matter what side of the political agenda you find assured the men and women of the Armed Forces are making a difference in Iraq. You'll have to make up your own minds as far as the current political climate. REMEMBER TO VOTE!

By the way you can checkout FJI 24/7 on the MNF-I website Last night's cast is posted. I'm on Wednesday's cast.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Digital or Analog?

I always thought there were two types of people in this world...Journey fans...and liars. Well, my good friend Chris from jacksnupple believes I'm wrong. He may be on to something. Chris believes folks are classified into two different categories: ANALOG or DIGITAL

In a blog titled Secrets Chris claims to be an uber-digital.
I am digital. I am Bobby Friggin' Digital. I'm borderline nerding out most of the time. You should see me in an Apple retail store–my geek meter peaks.

The blog is pretty funny and it made me think? Am I a digital or an analog? Well I know for a fact I'm no analog. That was easy...or was it? In today's world, everyone is labeled and then sub-labeled...and sometimes even sub-sub-labeled. Long gone are the days of being a a simple something! It is impossible to be just a Democrat, or Republican. You're a leftist, or conservative. These labels even reach into religion and nationalities. Are you a Southern Baptist or a light skinned brother?
With this new found knowledge of being either analog or digital...I asked myself: Are there different levels of classification within these two categories? I know I'm not a analog, but I'm not sure if I'm a digital. Maybe digital-lite. Possibly, I'm a Hack Hag...totally analog, but I hang around a bunch of digitals, because I feel safe around them. I have a lot of friends who are totally digital. Maybe I'm a closet digital? How do I tell my parents I'm a digital? Is it best not to come out of the closet? I surround myself with digitals and can dork out with the best of them, but when in mixed company I'll claim I really don't know what all this 1 and 0 stuff is all about. I'll never admit openly I know the secrets, however, know most of them, or at least I know who does!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Vacation To Doha

YES! This must mean I'm at least half way done here! The truth is I'm more than half way. I don't really know how many days I have left. Ollie and Maddy do. They have a cool paper chain they made. For me, I don't want to know. I keep my mind focused on work and staying safe. I feel the harder I work, the more focused I am...the faster my time will fly by. I'm pretty sure my replacement Dorlinda will be here in time for me to leave. So, until she gets here...I will just keep on...keeping on. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS POST IS ABOUT!

It's about my four days in Doha Qatar...I've been on hundreds of trips all over the world, and this one ranks right up there in the top 10. The R&R facility is staffed with some world-class folk and the place is set up just for folks like me to completely chill-out, or blast all over the place at max speed. I did a little of both.

Most of my military friends will tell you the best part of R&R to Doha is...BEER! Truth be told, the beer was pretty good! We're limited to three beers a day, and that turned out to be just right. 22oz Black and Tans times three times four nights equals...a pretty good time. The Top Off was the place to be every night from 6PM until 2AM. They had pool tables, darts, and my beloved FOOSBALL.


Every night I played Foosball with our little group. George, my roommate, Chris, and Tom. We met the two of them during in-processing. Chris and I were an unstoppable team. He destroyed everyone...and we didn't spin!

George and I went on several trips. Here is a quick slide show:

By week's end, I met several new friends, sang karaoke...even was asked to sing accompanied by a guitar, ate my fair share of great food, and was completely relaxed.

Of course all good things must end!
George's Last Beer!

My Last Beer!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Freedom Journal Iraq

Well, we hit the bottom of the barrel. Everyone on the team was busy, so I made a cameo appearance on FJI. This is right after I returned from my trip to I'm uber-tan and super tired. Enjoy!

Marne Husky Update

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Am Alive!

The move into the News department has taken its toll on me and my addiction to blog. It appears it also had an effect on my friends and family. I want to first say, "I'M ALIVE AND WELL!" There was a two week period where there was only two folks in news. My team was only four-strong. Today, there are 9 of us! Last week I went on my R&R. One fantastic week in Doha Qatar. (Another blog to come!)

So do I fill my days and weeks with? Why haven't I been hitting the web? Mostly because I spend 12-14 hours in the office. I love being in charge of the news. I've had to break out every single organizational and leadership tool I have! Although I miss radio, I'm loving news. It doesn't hurt that I have a great team. When I do come home, I usually watch a show or two, then. I still get up at the butt-crack of dawn. Plus, I've decided to kick my workouts up a notch or two:

Although I'm not certified I've been leading these classes. It is a very different workout and it really forces me to stay on it. Breathing, teaching, and time management. The class is averaging 7 folks, but yesterday 14 showed up.

Stay tuned for pics and stories from Doha Qatar. There are also a few videos of me singing. Not sure if they'll make it in time for the post.