So the Army has finally sent its "exclusive editorial content" to bloggers like me. And, wouldn't you know it, that content is almost comically lame.Earlier this month, Charlie Kondek, an account exec at the Michigan public relations firm Hass MS&L, e-mailed a "handful of bloggers" with promises of goodies just for us. I wasn't expecting much. After all, the Defense Department has been cracking down on blogs, lately. One Pentagon spokeswoman, after laying out her strategy for keeping the mainstream media in check, admitted that she and her colleagues "still dont know how to handle the bloggers."But still. I figured what we'd get in our in-boxes wouldn't be this bad: two Wonder bread-bland profiles of Army reservists.As a member of the Army, [Staff Sgt. Jose] Salazar has been able to wear the uniform across numerous continents and time zones--including a recent deployment in Iraqsomething a 17-yr old kid from San Francisco never would have even dreamed of.Its interesting when I look back at my childhood and see how much Ive changed over the years, says Salazar. The Army really provided me with the tools and background I needed to get on track. Now, as part of the Army Reserve, Ive taken that next step in the process, combining my training with my civilian career to help serve my country in Iraq during a pretty historic period.Staff Sergeant Salazar also cites travel and the opportunity to experience different cultures as another benefit of service.Throughout my time in uniform, Ive been able to travel all over the world and have been able to experience different cultures and people and realized that, even though we may have different beliefs and ways about ourselves, we are all really the same. My time in Iraq really provided me an amazing perspective on the world.Hard-hitting, hunh? Well, that's Woodward-and-Bernstein compared to this profile of JAG officer Captain Patrick Johnson (that's him in the pic).
In addition to the mutually beneficial relationship between the skills he receives during his Army training and those used in his civilian career, Captain Johnson has also benefited from the emphasis on character that the Army instilled in him during basic trainingan important characteristic that has remained a constant thread as he continues to seek challenges and opportunities to be part of something larger than himself, both in his role as an Army Reserve officer and as a prosecutor for Spokane County.The Army really provided me with so many fundamental skills, from discipline and honor to the ability to make a difference in the worldskills that continue to play an important role in everything that I do in life. I know that, whatever the challenge or obstacle, I can find a way to overcome itthe Army taught me that...I've never lost sight of the fact that I'm lucky to be in a country where I can advance myself as far as my ability and drive will take me. Serving in the Army Reserve makes me realize that I am ensuring that these opportunities continue for my children and my childrens children. Its a pretty amazing when you think that generations down the line will experience the effects of what Im participating in right now.And to think, that was an exclusive... just for me.