Why would someone with no personal connection to the people or government of Honduras, buy a camera, start a webpage, and fly to Honduras to become a citizen journalist? It just doesn't make sense. I've been asked that question numerous times, and at times I don't fully understand what drove me to such extreme actions, so here an explanation of events that shaped my thinking and pushed me towards this endeavor.
To begin with, I am proud to be an American. I do, however, strongly disagree with the direction our country has been heading the past few months. I recently finished serving my country as a rifleman in the United States Marine Corps.
I enlisted late 2004, and after boot camp and the school of infantry I was sent to Fox CO 2nd Battalion 5th Marines. Up until my assignment to 2/5 all I had been told was that I was going to Iraq, yet the Marine Corps had different plans for my unit, and we were sent on the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
We were on ship and traveled to different countries in the Western Pacific. We were in the Philippines during the mudslides, and different elements of the unit helped in the search and rescue effort. I was not part of the rescue operation, as I was in one of three squads that were sent to Jolo Island, providing security while Air Force Engineers built new school buildings.
My second deployment was to ar Ramadi, Iraq, where 2/5 was one of the surge elements. Now I am not going to go into details of the deployment, but the deployment was a success, contrary to the initial reporting from many main stream media news releases.
I saw first hand the changes that were taking place during the al Anbar Awakening. Police recruits were receiving formal training, Our combat outpost hosted two platoons from our company and elements of the Iraqi army and Police. Local governing boards were established and there was a sense of order in the streets. The Iraqi's began policing their own neighborhoods, working shoulder to shoulder with their US counterparts. Despite all of these positive gains being made, it took awhile for accurate stories to surface.
I extended my contract to do a third deployment with Regimental Combat Team 5 where I was a part of a platoon of infantryman, tasked out with company and regimental level missions. Throughout 2008, I saw how the US was handing control back to the Iraqi's, with little press available because of the media circus surrounding the election trail.
I saw first hand the good that was being done overseas, yet the news was inaccurate and unfair, especially to the families of servicemen and women. I am now experiencing the same fears and worries that family members of the armed forces experience, as close friends of mine (which should be read as "brothers") are now in Afghanistan and I have to dig for information to see how they are doing, and all I can do is pray for their safety and success.
In June the world watched as Iranians took to the streets, protesting the election results, and the US administration say idly by, with the decree that the US can not interfere with other governments. Yet with the removal of Zelaya from office, President Obama was quick to take a stance, siding with Zelaya and against the "coup".
Immediately, an overwhelming majority of national (and international) press began condemning Honduras. I looked to the internet where I came across some great articles, that explained what happened was legal.
I was working at my parent's business for the summer until I return to school in the fall. Always ready for a new adventure, I decided to go find out for myself. I was tired of biased news reports and I had to see for myself if this tiny Central American country truly underwent a coup, or if they legally removed a potential dictator and chose to be a free people.
This site is just a one trick pony. My stay here in Honduras is quickly coming to an end. Once I return to the States, I will no longer be updating on the situation here in Honduras. All I hoped for was to see what was truly happening and write about it on this little blog. If it was able to accurately inform at least one person, then I consider this venture a success.