Let me thank Badger 6 for giving us a look into his daily life and his thoughts.
Blogging, Morale, and How We are Doing Over Here
I try to spend some time thinking about what my blog posts are going to revolve around. I try to consider what parts of being in Iraq might be of interest to people back home and how I might make those stories and reporting interesting. I also contemplate what the implications of any post might be and how that potential post is part of the Tenets of the Blog. Additionally, I need to take into consideration guidelines from the US military about we can and cannot discuss.
One of the Tenets is Supporting the Mission. It seems to me that one way to do that is to let people at home know that we are being effective. As I was browsing the milblogosphere, I found this from Michael Yon, now back on his way to Iraq. He closes with this
This war is strange. I never hear soldiers worried about their own morale sagging. Contrary, the war-fighters here are more concerned to bolster the morale of the people at home. The morale at war is higher than I have ever seen it at home; makes me wonder what they know that most Americans seem to be missing.And from what I remember being at home this strikes me as true. I want to help close that gap.
One of my email subscriptions is to the Department of Defense's daily press releases. I get an email every time DOD issues a press release, including every time the name of a casualty is released. It can be very disheartening. What those announcement lacks, and more importantly what the follow up and bigger stories lack is a context of how and why they died, and when it comes to improvised explosive devices, what are we doing to defeat this scourge.
So I went to lunch pondering this question - How do I talk about this war and what we are doing and walk those OPSEC (operational security) lines? How do I show you we are being successful and why you too at home should should be optimistic? Then it came to me in the Ramadi DFAC.
I found a copy of Coalition Chronicle. Coalition Chronicle (whose URL I have added to the news source list) is the magazine of Multi-National Corps - Iraq, my higher headquarters two echelons up. The November 2006 issue (availible only in pdf) entitled "Where the Buffalo Roam" (starting on page 3) about the Company B of the the 5th Engineer Battalion in Baghdad. These Soldiers are running a similar mission to ours and if you read the article you will get a flavor for what Team Badger is doing. You will also note that on the back page of that issue MNC-I reports that between September 16, and October 13, 2006 Colalition Forces (CF) found and cleared 945 Improvised Explosive Devices. I don't have the number of CF troops killed by IED's in that time frame, but I know that the number 945 stands in stark contrast to that.
The cynics and naysayers will look at my sources and say I am nothing but a flack for the military, but as a serving US Army Soldier, I cannot pretend to be completely independent. Take this information and evaluate in the larger context of what you hear and read about war and the IED problem.
So I will continue to write about my Badgers and our associates in this endeavor, our life on Camp Ramadi does not present those complexities. I will continue to write about our missions outside the wire as much as I can, and I will continue to point your to sources that you might not be seeing back in the states, and I hope help your morale too.
Your emails and comments are invaluable to me and my Soldiers.
Keep up the good fight and . . .
Once again.....thanks Badger 6!!!!!
Tracked back by:
John Edwards and Thomas Sowell on the 'have and have nots' from Right Truth.... (Thanks)