KABOOM! Happiness Is Diggity!
In his own words:
After the Washington Post article ran about Kaboom, I signed with Wm Clark Associates, a literary agency based out of New York. A few months after that, I signed a book deal with Da Capo Press, and the print version of Kaboom should be out in late 2009 or early 2010.
Kaboom was one of my fave milblogs . Written by Lt. Matt Gallagher ( Lt.G) during his deployment to Iraq from 2007-2008, it chronicled the day to day challenges and dangers faced by his platoon, a Stryker unit named "Gravediggers".
Lt. G's narratives were poetic, evocative, entertaining, frightening, infuriating and thought provoking - but never an indictment of the war.
Machine gun fire crackled in the distance as I sat down to type this. Fitting, in that “for real, dude?” kind of way. Yes, for real. Dude. Machine guns. And not the ones that fire blanks.
Here are a few additional, often unrelated, thoughts, after my first day spent in the combat zone of Iraq.
-- I’m not sure what this means in the larger socio-political sense, so I’ll just state the facts: Baghdad International Airport, the place that served as the epical climax of Third Infantry Division’s Thunder Run in 2003, and the place where SFC Smith earned a Medal of Honor in that same year, now has Subway and Pizza Hut. Take that however you see fit.
My platoon and I cannot get out to our combat outpost quickly enough. Even with the perks of the nigh-2008 Iraq War, the FOB is still bursting with Brass, 2-hour meetings that last 1-hour-and-45-minutes too long, mind-numbing regulations, and Fobbits. (See updated military terminology.) I’m not saying there’s not a place in the Army for those things, I’m just saying that that place isn’t where the Gravediggers want to be.
Kaboom had garnered a large following - tens of thousands of hits weekly- when in June 2008 it was abruptly and unnecessarily shut down by the Army brass over a post dated May 28, 2008 - "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage " - which had not been vetted by a supervisor.
A Tactical Pause
Due to a rash posting on my part, and decisions made above my pay-grade, I have been ordered to stop posting on Kaboom, effective immediately. Though I committed no OPSEC violations, due to a series of extenuating circumstances I did not go through the normal vetting channels. It’s totally on me, as it was too much unfiltered truth. I’m a soldier first, and orders are orders. So it is.
"To much unfiltered truth" yet "no OPSEC violations." While I don't know this to be true, I suspect that Kaboom was likely shut down by the supercilious Officer whose ego had been bruised by a somewhat unflattering, albeit very honest, portrayal of himself in that dispatch of May 28th.
A year ago, I was saddened and angered by the silencing of Kaboom the blog.
One year later, I eagerly await the release of Kaboom the book.
Lt. G's voice is no longer silenced. And American's will be wiser for having listened to it.
I'm excited and very happy.
Whaddya know!! Lt. G is right!! Happiness is Diggity!!!