Monday, June 27, 2005

Another answer to, "why do you read blogs?"

When you read a blog for any length of time, you get very familiar with the author's style, their voice, their point of view. Blog writing is less formal, less edited, and more immediate. With a good blog, you feel like you really connect with the author.

For some reason that's been particularly true of the blogs that I follow that cover Iraq. Riverbend, Salam Pax, My War, Dagger JAG, Kevin Sites, Juan Cole... are compelling because they are living the war and relating their personal experiences, not just reporting the news. So when I read that Phil Carter at had been called up it hit my almost as if a nephew was being (re)deployed.

INTEL DUMP - Heading downrange

On Thursday, I received orders from the Army mobilizing me for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These orders followed an earlier set, cut on Tuesday, which transferred me from the Army's individual ready reserve into the 101st Airborne Division. It's an honor and privilege to deploy with such a storied unit -- a band of warriors who have nearly all deployed at least once since 9/11. I'm scheduled to report for active duty in a little under 3 weeks to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. After some period of pre-deployment training and preparation, I will deploy with my unit to Iraq.

It's difficult to describe the swirl of emotions I have now. I'm excited about this opportunity to serve, but also apprehensive about what lies ahead. I'm worried for my family and friends (this will be harder on them than me), and I will miss them terribly; but I'm also comforted by the strength they have displayed over the past few days.

INTEL DUMP will go through some changes over the next few weeks as a part of this deployment. [...] To the extent I can, I will contribute notes and dispatches from the field, although obviously my mission and my soldiers will take priority over any writing I might do.

See you on the high ground — more to follow...

I salute you, Phil Carter. Good luck and Godspeed. I sure hope you are able to keep blogging—for the same reasons our families hung on every email from our nephews when they were there.

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