General

Letters From Iraq

I’ve begun the process of putting up my collection of old blog postings, which date back to 2001. I’m starting off with all of my Iraq posts, since those are the ones that I get the most requests for. I’ve also uploaded the PDF e-book, which you can download for free here. The PDF file contains all of my old postings, the same ones I’m going to be uploading to the blog, so I’ve made it available for those of you who would rather read straight through than having to click on individual posts.

I was either the first or second professional soldier to blog from a combat zone. Today, they’re called Milbloggers, and they’re everywhere — or at least they were until the Pentagon cracked down on them. When I started, however, there were no guidelines in place for dealing with such things, as the Army had no idea what blogging was. I was doing it mostly for family, but my first-person account of the mission that capture Saddam Hussein thrust me into the global spotlight. Within two weeks, I’d been interviewed by about 15 major newspapers and featured on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, and I was no longer anonymous. I began going through a ton of red tape, meetings with officers VERY high up in my chain of command, and everything I posted was scrutinized. I kept doing it, though, at least until they started requiring everything I wrote to be pre-approved by my platoon leader, despite the fact that everything I wrote did nothing but shine a great light on our unit and the things we were doing. I made the decision to stop writing because I didn’t like the hassle anymore, and never really blogged about Army-related things again for the rest of my tour of duty.

You can read my old Iraq blog postings, entitled Letters From Iraq, at your leisure. I’m slowy putting them up, but it will give you an unfiltered look at what life on the ground was actually like for a medic in a cavalry squadron on the front lines.

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  1. Pingback: The Army Kills Blogs « the j. botter weblog

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