Afghanistan or Bust

May 29, 2008

NOTE: If anyone from the 6-4 Cav reads this thing, please get in touch with me:

So I’m out of and physically away from school now and stopped back at the NTC on my way out of California.  I can’t post some of the best (special effects) pics for spoiler reasons, but below is a selection of stuff from my two most recent trips.

The main thing, now, is how to figure out how to do two things: 1) re-embed with the 6-4 Cav in Afghanistan and 2) get to the JRTC in Louisiana to take a look at what that’s like.

Afghanistan involves a whole host of issues that would prevent a reasonable person from still pursuing it–the main two are that I don’t have press credentials and that I don’t have $7000 to pay for the trip and expenses (everything from body armor to visas to shots to some particular camera equipment) though if I work like a dog for the next two months and shrug off some of my bills I should be able to maybe come up with that money.

The bigger problem right now is press credentials: nobody seems to think that a full-length book on the NTC and its relationship to actual deployment constitutes “real” journalism.  You’d think the Army itself would maybe want to see a book like this–an outsider’s perspective on how simulation training works–just for the facts, but so far they’re demanding credentials and nobody is interested in giving me any.  I’m not even asking prospective news orgs for money, just a nice letter.  Sigh.

Anyway, more news later (soon, I hope).  In the meantime, pics from two series that have grown out of my experience at the NTC–large b/w photos of mostly empty spaces at night, and a collection of color shots of STX (simulation training exercises) that comprise part of the fun at the NTC.


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