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Thursday, August 31, 2006

 

Help a US Soldier Spread the TRUTH About Iraq

-By Joel A. Arends, US Army

Let me introduce myself. My name is Joel Arends and from 2003 – 2005 I served in Baghdad, Iraq with the 1st Cav Division as an Infantry Platoon Leader and eventually as Company Commander. I have read your site and am impressed with it. Since returning from Iraq I have also been performing the same type of mission which you have been executing through your website and other activities. I have been speaking at college campuses and service organizations about the successes our troops have accomplished in Iraq. I have also been working with a group called Families United Mission, of which I notice you are listed as an ally, to get the word out about supporting our troops and the mission. (www.familiesunitedmission.com)

To that end, I am planning a trip to Iraq through the DOD embed journalist program for the last part of August before law school starts. (Dates are flexible) I am in the initial planning stage and still gauging support at this point. My intent is to link up with a South Dakota National Guard Unit that has lost four guys and is due to demob in October. I would be providing daily stories to any national media, local media here in the Sioux Falls, SD area, blogging and live phone interviews, etc... I am also contemplating taking a cameraman from a local t.v. station who is interested. I will also be hooking up with a MITT team which I trained, after returning from Iraq, while working with the 91st at Ft. Carson. They have been training Iraqi soldiers and their progress is worth getting the word out about.

In all, the editorial content of my stories would focus on how successful these units have been in achieving their respective missions from the perspective of a combat vet who left country 16 months ago. Wade Zirkle from Vets for Freedom (see www.vetsforfreedom.org) and I recently spoke about his trip to Iraq and he gave me some good feedback which I am incorporating into my plan.

I want your help in two ways. I am seeking access to national conservative broadcast outlets and financing. I am seeking access to people who can hook me up with nationwide radio programs such as Laura Ingraham, G. Gordon Liddy, Hugh Hewitt, etc..., broadcasters who would be interested in interviewing me while I am there and linking to blog content. I would also do local radio in your area if you have outlets who want to hear about positive progress happening in Iraq. The trip will be no longer than two weeks and focused on getting the word out through friendly media organizations.

I am also asking if WarChick.com or any other groups or private donors you have access to would be willing to provide financial and logistical support for a mission like this. Zirkle's budget was around 2-3k per person, of which 90% was for airfare. If I took another person I am estimating I would need 5k. Your support would not have to be incredibly large. I am working to leverage contributions from similar organizations such as yours who have similar missions: supporting the troops and their mission.

My thoughts are that the mainstream media has their reporting with their perspective, now it's time for our side to send reports back home from our people with our perspective.

Thanks for your time and let me know your thoughts on this.

Joel A. Arends

jaarends@hotmail.com or joel.arends@us.army.mil
Comments:
Thank you for posting my email.

The dates of my proposed trip have now changed. I am looking at leaving the U.S. at the end of December 06. It works with my schedule and allows me to graduate from law school before leaving.

And, because the SD Guard unit will have left country by then I will be linking up with another unit in the Baghdad area.

Whatever assistance you can offer would be appreciated. I am also available for speaking opportunities. College Campuses, community organizations what have you.

Here are some links to positive coverage by local media which you would be hard pressed to find in the MSM.

http://www.familiesunitedmission.com/cgi-data/news/files/62.shtml

http://www.familiesunitedmission.com/cgi-data/news/files/36.shtml

http://www.volanteonline.com/media/storage/paper468/news/2005/11/16/News/Sp

Thanks for your help,

Joel A. Arends
 
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