I have my bulletproof vest and helmet, my ballistic goggles and my sleeping bag. I’m still waiting on a new microphone for the road, but I’m pretty much set to go.
So here’s the plan — I’ve been talking to NHPR about what we’re going to do, and they’ll be linking here to LPJ. I’m sending them a number of regular length feature stories, on topics from what the day to day is like to how soldiers relax in their time off. I’m also going to sit down for four one on one interviews with soldiers. Those will get sent back and posted to NHPR’s website. And I’ll send back a couple batches of photos. They’re going to put a place on their website for people to ask questions if they want to, in order to make it interactive.
I’m hoping to create an audio slideshow or two by combining the photos with the soldier interviews. We’ll see how that goes.
I’ve also got the Sun. I’m hoping I can make connections with Mount Washington Valley soldiers or North Country soldiers, to run in the Conway or Berlin Daily Sun. I may also send back dispatches, but the specifics of that have not been discussed.
And I’ll be doing some other statewide stuff for the Union Leader. I haven’t hashed out the details with them yet, but I’ll be looking for stories that don’t fit into the Sun’s purview for that.
Granted, with the vest rental, airplane ticket and equipment I’ve bought I don’t see this being a money-maker, but the business of journalism seldom is these days. I’m going to be telling a story people haven’t heard lately. That’s the value in the trip.
I’ve still got one more package to get, and then I’m good to go. I also cleared up the last questions about a visa, so I should be good there as well. And I might get to meet up with a friend in Kuwait before I fly into Baghdad, so that’s even more good news.
I’ve got two weeks to tell a story that’s been almost eight years in the making — I don’t see that happening to it’s full potential. But it’ll be a start, and if I like it it’ll be one among many. So here’s to Saturday morning flights…