A few days ago, I issued a challenge to Paul McLeary and CJR, and Paul has accepted that challenge. As he notes here and in the e-mail exchanges, he stepped in it, which is something with which I think we can all empathize. Our discussions have been interesting, thoughtful, and fruitful.
The result is that we are working together with PMI to go to Iraq and FOB Falcon. Our mutual goal is to go see the reality on the ground, find out what the troops think on the issue of Bleu Beau, blogs, blogging, and a number of other subjects.
In addition to what is done with Paul, I am looking to embed with a Marine unit while there after our time at FOB Falcon.
We do not yet know how much, if any, support will come from CJR. Therefore, we are looking for funding, and I am looking for your help to send me to Iraq. More than that, I see this as an opportunity to try and make it easier for the next trip by getting some additional resources to PMI.
This is not an inexpensive venture. To that end, I would like to ask that you:
• Donate to PMI. Your tax deductible contribution will help cover armor, insurance, and a lot more. Hit the Pay Pal Button and mark it For LW Embed; and, if you send a check, note that it is For LW Embed. Any funds raised over what I need will go to PMI to help support operations and other embeds, including our first embed.
• I hate to do it, but if you go to my newly redesigned digs (Phin and Chris Muir Rock!), you will find a Pay Pal button there too. Donations to me are not tax deductible. Most of my gear is designed for Northern European and Alpine conditions, plus I am going to need some other specialized gear and will have transportation and other misc. expenses. Any and all help you provide above what I need will be donated to PMI as cash and/or as gear. Please note that it is For LW Embed.
• If you work for Apple, a PC laptop manufacturer or distributor, a cell phone company or equipment maker, or a camera maker or distributor, please drop me a line as I have a tax-deductible proposition or three for you that will help PMI and make life easier for embeds.
• If you are over there or have been over there, and have thoughts and suggestions on gear, needs, and such, send them on.
As I noted above, I want to get as many additional resources to PMI as I can. If this goes well, and you the readers support it, I would like to be able to do more trips and/or send out other embeds from Blackfive. The extra resources will help make that possible. Beyond that, I think it important that more informational boots on the ground are made possible. The stories that are out there, the good and the bad, need to be told. Even if it wanted to cover every story out there, the MSM doesn't have the resources to get them all out. We, the New Media, do.
So, I want to use this as a chance to build funding and to build a cache of gear so that when a request for an embed comes to PMI, they can turn around and say "Here's your pack, sack, and protective. Need com gear? Okay then, here's your ticket, good luck!"
To that end, if your donations to me allow, I plan to buy two of non-size-specific gear so that one of everything can go to PMI for the cache. As I stated above, any funds left over will go directly to them as well.
El Coqui: would you please let people in the Tavern (and the larger Bar if possible) know about this? Everyone, will you help spread the word?
So, please dig deep. We are not going to discuss when we are going; but, the more you give and the quicker you give it, the sooner things can be set in motion.