By John Ensslin | January 23rd, 2011
We talked about his new book “Lethal Warriors – When the New Band of Brothers Came Home.”
During the show, Dave read an excerpt from the book, which tells the story of a spike in homicides when members of one battle hardened unit in Iraq returned home to Colorado.
This excerpt is about a soldier named Kenny Eastridge whose platoon was assigned to “Mad Max” duty patrolling a road called Route Michigan in the Sunni Triangle in November 2004.
“By the end of the week, when Eastridge learned his platoon was going back on three weeks of highway patrol, everyone was on edge. They had been trained early on to protect themselves from ambushes by watching for anything out of the ordinary. Problem was, they also learned pretty quickly that almost everything in their corner of Iraq was out of the ordinary. Every day, the soldiers struggled to find meaningful hints of what was normal in their patrol areas. Three people dressed head to toe in black robes, their faces covered except for glaring eyes, was that normal? Seven men in headscarves packed in a tiny taxi, was that normal? A burning mound of trash in the middle of a neighborhood with goats foraging on the smoldering edges, was that normal? And then some of the things that appeared the most normal were the most deadly – a person on a cell phone, a boy on a bicycle, a lone driver in a car, three teenagers in track suits, a clear strip of highway. Any one of them could be a sign of an imminent bomb attack. Or not. There was no normal.”
If you’d like to hear the entire 30 minute program, click here.
One technical glitch to this program. If you listen carefully, I believe you can hear my dog Buddy walking across the living room floor. I’ll try to keep Buddy out of future broadcasts.
Five Excellent SPJ Programs
There is a lot of great, innovative SPJ programming going on across the country.
Here are a few that were done in January that are worthy of emulation:
It’s one thing to talk about ethics among a group of journalists. It’s quite another though to combine with members of a local government to discuss their new code of ethics.
That’s exactly what SPJ Cleveland did on Jan. 10 when they discussed a new code of ethics proposed for Cuyahoga County. Read all about it here.
A topic on everyone’s mind these days – the future of journalism – is one that SPJ Louisville tackled on Jan. 19. This is a program almost any chapter can assemble and discuss. Click here for their list of speakers.
Colorado SPJ recently revived its series of Fireside Chats at the Denver Press Club. On Jan. 19, the chapter hosted a talk by Associated Press Editor and SPJ board member Jim Anderson.
Jim talked about his experiences helping to coordinate AP’s coverage of the earthquake in Haiti. As it turned out, the club’s fire place wasn’t working, but the program sparked some great conversation.
Jim also discussed the changes that have happened in Haiti in the year since the quake. A one year anniversary of a major news story is often a good time to invite people who covered a major story to gather and look back at how they did it.
A lot of chapters hold annual meetings for the purpose of electing new officers. How many though arrange to hold their meetings in a setting as elegant as Lincoln Center in New York City?
That’s exactly what the Deadline Club, the New York City chapter of SPJ did on Jan. 21, when their held their meeting in the studios of public television station WNET. Clear here for the details.
If you could hold your annual meeting someplace special in your town, where would you go?
The Rio Grande SPJ Chapter in New Mexico is hosting their first big event of the year: a talk by two leading experts on media law on Jan. 26 at the University of New Mexico. Click here for more details.
Are there media lawyers is your community that you could tap for a similar talk?
Is your chapter planning an innovative or creative program that others might be able to duplicate? If so, drop me a line. My e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org