JD is an all star combat correspondent. He has provided some of the best coverage and certainly some of the most amazing video we have had the pleasure to watch and learn from. He has a piece up looking back at his adventures and what may be ahead. I have admnired the man and his work since the day five years ago when he poked his head on National Heroes Tour bus and bellowed "Is Uncle Jimbo in there?". Take a moment and go read his thoughts, and if you haven't seen them consider buying some of the best video coverage there is.
Five times to Iraq, five times to Afghanistan dozens of named combat operations, hundreds of daily patrols, the urban canyons and corners of Baghdad, walking across the minefields of Marja, driving through Iraq in a Toyota Camry, traipsing around Afghanistan alone only armed with my wits and a switch blade.
A combined 23 months in the war zones and so many memories perfectly preserved in broadcast quality video.
The memories come to me every day as fleeting, random fragments. The totality of the experience though has shaped me in ways I may never fully understand because it is impossible to know the alternate me, the JD Johannes who did not go to Iraq but instead followed the ten-year plan he set out in 2003 that was to culminate in marriage, a lobbying & political consulting practice and settled down, responsible adulthood. It was the standard path for a political campaign manager turned political appointee and my on-going involvement in political campaigns allows me occasional proximity to peers who stayed on the path and became lobbyists, heads of political associations and upper level staff.