Sunday, January 14, 2007

Not Going Anywhere for a While?



Well, if you haven't heard, we’ve had our tour here extended until “No later than July”. If you weren’t in the loop, we were supposed to be home by mid-March. I have to admit; I wasn’t too surprised or upset by that because I’ve always known the Army to be like a Ginsu commercial-there’s always more. What I have to tell you about is the way the information was delivered to us.

A full 24 hours before the official announcement was delivered to us from the Pentagon, a newspaper printed the story “according to their source”. Here’s the kicker, no one in our chain of command was aware of this. Basically that means that our chain of command, the leaders and the soldiers were totally unprepared and shocked when this was blasted all over the media back home. Who was hardest hit by this? Our families.

In normal military protocol, any information this big is passed to our chain of command that then prepares and presents the information to the leadership in the task force and then they subsequently, pass it down to the soldiers so they can notify their families. This is done in a precise manner in order to prepare all the parties involved or affected by this and the impact it will have on their futures. How would you like to find out that your husband, wife, son, daughter, father, or mother has been extended in country? By your soldier or by the local news?

First, I have a few questions for any journalists that visit my blog.

1. Does it ever enter your staff’s thought or decision making process that soldiers and their families read the news, stay updated on current events and keep in touch with situations that occur in the US and in their home states?

2. Do journalists even think to consider that by making that “breaking headline” they have the ability to cause additional heartache, stress, and problems for the families and soldiers that you claim to support? Or do you just throw that right out of the window in favor of ratings and subscription sales?

3. By making announcements like this before the actual release date and time, do journalists stop and think of any potential damage they may cause such as putting additional stress on the leaders and soldiers that are here risking their lives in order to provide a stable future for the citizens of Iraq?

Not to mention the heartache and additional stress they have added to our families that have spent the better part of a year and four months worrying about the safety of their loved ones, taking care of our children and dealing with problems at home without us.

Now I am fully aware of the prevalent opinion that a majority of journalists will have i.e., “Freedom of the Press is my right”. It is not “Your right”; it is a privilege that you enjoy off of the blood, sweat and tears of others. Journalists tend to wield this privilege as irresponsibly as a criminal who just got his hands on a gun and is going to rob a store. They obviously showed a complete lack of compassion in favor of “breaking the news”.

I ask you, readers, what would posses people to do this and then top it off by having the cojonés to ask our families for an interview to ask them how they feel about it? Our families have already weathered a very long storm. Some marriages that were hanging on by their fingernails may have stood a chance at making it if their soldiers would have been allotted the chance to be the ones that broke the news to their loved ones. Now, thanks to journalist’s “breaking news”, that one chance is gone forever.

If there are any journalists out there, regardless of the media that they work for, that read this blog please give me some feedback on this one because I am truly at a loss as to what to think.

The media had a field day when the story of Abu-Gharib broke out. The entire Army was given a “black eye” because of this incident. That and the fact that there was no representation as to the good things we’ve accomplished here. I can tell you that right now, that this is the media’s Abu-Gharib and I have only received ONE example of the good the media does. That one example is Mr. Bob Calvert from the web site talking with heroes.

5 Comments:

Blogger The Patriette said...

Similar to you, I have no doubt that we can handle the extension. It is how it was told to the soldiers and their families that made the news so much worse than it had to be. I continue to pray for both you guys over there and all of us here at home. I hope you're home in time for the State Fair!!!

7:52 AM  
Blogger Rosey said...

Coconut,
Thank you for your service to our country.
Hey just curious, how's the food over there?
Rgds,
Rosey

7:39 AM  
Blogger fasternu426 said...

The media could care less. Both they and politicians will throw you overborad to sell papers or buy votes. You guys are doing what they do not have the cajones to do. They have no cajones, but they have a lot of gall! The world for them is a playground there they believe they can do as they please. They look down their noses at the the military. They have never served, unless it is serving themselves. OPSEC to them is anethema. I thought it was illegal to report on troop movements anyhow? They seek to hold everyone else accountable, but who polices them?

Thank you and those you serve with for a job well done. To the members of press, go get a real job!

2:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coconut,
This is exactly what I'm talking about...not the media coverage, (I fully agree with you on the point of the Media breaking the news and then charging up your families' driveway for a "how do you feel about it" moment.) but the fact that after spending a year or two there, now you have to stay even longer and your Chain-of-Command had no idea and wasn't informed from the Pentagon. The Bush administration has failed time and time again to fully consult and listen to the military leaders.

He's answer in a CBS interview was "That's my decision and we are going forward with it..."

This "surge" as Bush puts it should have been done from the start. If they would have used Colin Powell's idea for a massive overtaking of Iraq and used the Iraqi people who just want to feed thier families that have been under Saddam's thumb for years to help set up the Iraqi info-structer you wouldn't have as many of these insurgents trying to bomb you at every turn. Sunnis and Shites would have been involved from the begining.

I can imagine the moral of "suck' for you and your soldiers. I wonder about the 1000 or more soldiers who have petitioned Congress to leave Iraq. Is your view on this whole thing changing just a little bit? When is enough, enough?

As for your reader "Rosey"...Liberal you say? Why does everybody have to put people in one category or another? Am I unpatriotic because I don't support the War? I support the troops..hell I was one. Let's not jump to conclusions. Stay safe...Mike

6:05 PM  
Blogger Laureal said...

I absolutely loathe the media!

6:39 AM  

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