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Archives: March 2007

March
27th

Local author/soldiers featured in TV documentary

“Operation Homecoming,” the National Endowment for the Arts project to publish the writings of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, is making the jump from book to film — small screen, at least.


Film makers have produced a documentary about the work, “Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience,” featuring interviews with several of the service member/authors, readings by noted actors including Robert Duvall, Beau Bridges and Blair Underwood, and appearances by authors Tim O’Brien, Tobias Wolff, Anthony Swofford and others.


It’s part of PBS’ “America at the Crossroads” series, and airs 9 p.m. Monday, April 16, on

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March
27th

Scout food drive

Fans of Fort Lewis-based Boy Scout Troop 62, Cub Scout Packs 461 and 462, and Venture Crew 62 want you to know they collected more than 3,000 pounds of food and another $400+ in cash contributions outside the Fort Lewis Commissary over the weekend and donated it all to the FISH food bank in Lakewood.


The Fort Lewis troop, residents at Fort Lewis for 83 years, lays claim to being the longest continuous-serving Scouting organization on any Army or Air Force installation. (If you think otherwise, direct your evidence to my source on that one, the Washington National Guard’s

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March
26th

Tillman report

Click here to read the Department of Defense Inspector General’s report into the death of Cpl. Patrick Tillman of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. It’s an 85-page PDF, redacted (at times, heavily — in some sections it is difficult to follow the narrative because the Army blacked out the names of virtually all participants below the grade of colonel).

March
23rd

Another letter home from Kathryn Vernon

Vernon, from Tacoma, is working in Baghdad to help re-establish the Iraqi aviation sector.

I’d like to introduce you all to Ms. Iman – her name is much longer than that, but for her safety’s sake, I won’t put it all in this e-mail. Imagine living in a world where your life could be on the line because a) you drive to work everyday, working with Americans, and you have to drive a different route each day and vary the times you leave the house, b) you have two birth certificates because your grandparents didn’t want your dad to serve in the war and the only way to get out of service was to be married and have a child, so though you are only 41, you have to tell everyone you are 44, c) you had to start school at age four because the compulsory age was six, but because you had a birth certificate that said you were six, you had to attend, and d) your American friend can’t use your full name in an e-mail for fear for your life. Any time I think I have something to complain about, I think of Ms. Iman. She loves pictures of flowers and beauty that she can have around her and on her computer. Any time she is overwhelmed hearing car bombs or mortars, she looks at her pictures and remembers that there is beauty and goodness in this world.

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March
22nd

Bob and Lee Woodruff at Fort Lewis

The Woodruffs will be at the Fort Lewis post exchange from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday to meet people and sign copies of their new book, “In an Instant,” the story of their recovery from the January 2006 IED attack in Iraq that nearly killed the ABC news anchor and cameraman Doug Vogt.


They’ll also spend about a half-hour visiting with doctors and patients at Madigan Army Medical Center, officials said.


A portion of the proceeds from the book will go to the Bob Woodruff Family Fund for Traumatic Brain Injury.


UPDATE: If you don’t have

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March
22nd

Polls, trust and sticking to it

Another letter home from Lt. Col. Matt Green.

I vaguely remember one of my literature teachers telling me that good writing should serve to both educate and delight. That seems like pretty good advice, and I try to make sure I do both in these updates, especially as the audience grows. I never really know what I am going to write about next. So much of what we do is classified. It is not really possible just to describe things as they happen. And to be honest, many of the stories would start sounding the same. So I usually wait for some sort of inspiration that ties a few images or tales together.

I got that today when I came back from a particularly successful district area council meeting where we are really beginning to gain some traction. I opened up my computer and scanned the headlines from the major wireless services … and once again my faith in the American Press’s ability to responsibly use the freedom of speech a generation is fighting to defend was shattered. "Polls show Iraqis don’t trust Americans!" "Only 19% of Iraqis trust Americans." … Blah blah blah … drivel drivel, poppycock. Story after story reciting some poll without ever explaining any of the methods used to take the poll, or when it was taken. No accountability whatsoever. I would bet this month’s pay the poll is at least 30 days old, and the polltakers have enjoyed about 4-5 weekends and a couple national holidays sitting on all that useful data, while 20-year-old American and Iraqi patriots put their lives on the line without break to actually fix the problems the brave pollsters can’t even articulate decent questions about.

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March
22nd

Washington lawmakers write about Madigan

Our colleague Les Blumenthal in the McClatchy D.C. bureau has a story today about the letter that some local members of Congress — Sens. Murray and Cantwell, and Reps. Dicks, Smith and Reichert –- have sent to acting Army Secretary Pete Geren.


The letter includes an inventory of issues raised by soldiers who spoke with congressmen at a meeting March 10 at Madigan.


To read the letter in full, click here.