Monday, September 24, 2007

Send This to Your Warriors

I had hoped for one more overseas trip, either to Iraq or Afghanistan, in order to serve in combat one final time before I retired. I also hoped to write about soldiers at war as I did in 2004 in a series of op-ed pieces for the Orlando Sentinel.

With my current tour due to end on February 1, 2008, it looks like I won’t get more than a brief trip overseas in these last few months on active duty – and even that is unlikely. As a result, I have decided to request that those who are neck-deep in the war zones tell me their stories.

In other words, I want American Ranger to become a forum for more than just my own thoughts, experiences and opinions. I want Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to send me the nitty gritty stories of the world in which they live. Within the restrictions posed by the needs for operational security and intelligence protection, I will print their stories for them, for their families and for the benefit of all Americans.

This part of my blog will become "The Warrior’s Forum" and I hope it will be a useful outlet for the feelings – good and bad – of the members of the new “greatest generation”. So, please, forward this to your sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, brothers and grandfathers who are serving in the War on Terror. Tell them to send their comments and photos to me at

Here are the basic ground rules:

1. You need only identify yourself by rank, name, branch of service and hometown.
2. You can tell me what country you are in, but do not identify the unit, specific location or give any operational information that would be of intelligence value to the enemy.
3. I encourage you to send photographs, but remember the military rules.
4. American Ranger will only edit for grammar, punctuation and operational security. I am one of you. I want your story to be told, but only if it does not endanger our fellow warriors.

For examples of the kind of stories I want to tell, please check out these prior postings on American Ranger:

Please send this to your warriors and to those who will send it to others. I want their stories, their pictures and their deepest feelings. I want America to hear from those who deserve the last word – the men and women who lay their lives on the line for us every single day.

God bless America and God bless our brave warriors!

SFC Chuck Grist

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