If you’ve been reading Yon’s dispatches over on his blog, then you know his embed process for the current go-around in Iraq required him to do something he’d not had to do before: declare an affiliation with a publication. The fine folks at The Weekly Standard extended that courtesy to him while keeping his writing independence intact. The first fruits of that relationship are now available over on the Standard’s web site as Yon reports on his eyewitness, first person experience on voting day in Iraq.
|::::::::||For a variety of reasons, I decided the place to be on election day was alongside Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey Mellinger, the top enlisted man for coalition forces in Iraq and right-hand man to Gen. George W. Casey, himself the U.S. commander in Iraq. I’d spent three weeks with Mellinger earlier in the year, driving around Iraq, down to Kuwait, then flying over the Arabian Gulf to ships and oil platforms. Mellinger has been in the Army for 33 years, as best I can tell loving every bit of it, except maybe for the times he was laid up in the hospital. I knew that wherever he was, Mellinger would be where things were happening.||::::::::|
The story is personally fascinating for me because he mentions visiting the unit that my soldier from Soldiers’ Angels belongs to. I’m putting up a copy of the pertinent parts in my next letter, which will be sent out tomorrow morning. (Good timing.)
So, if you’re wondering why you didn’t hear much about the referendum from our MSM, go have a read over at the Standard. Catch up with Yon’s dispatches at his web site. I highly recommend the “Walking the Line” series of dispatches in which he relates his 3-week run with CSM Mellinger earlier this year as well as the dispatch titled “Gates of Fire.” This is what Pulitzer Prize-winning writing looks like.