Thursday, January 22, 2009


I seem to have made an impression upon at least two of the gents I'm out here with - Ian Shantz and Jean Laroche.

Ian's got me pegged:

Brooks is the biggest talker in the gang. His shaved head is better than Mr. Clean’s and I swear he can spout the entire military alphabet.

Given the fact that this is Big Ian's first experience with the military, he's done an admirable job of trying to take in as much as he can. Of course, half the time I'm yapping at him, it's just to yank his chain.

Laroche is the lone francophone reporter in the group - although our PAffO is entirely bilingual - and he's been a real trouper. No complaints about the fact that just about the entire visit has been conducted in english, filing stories fully translated, taking notes over jet noise, from a crackly speakerphone, in the back of an RG-31.

He's had the nastiest deadlines, too, yet still had time to file this:

Sur le camp, de nombreux journalistes sont présents. Mais pour la première fois, un bloggeur a été invité par l'armée canadienne. Damian Brooks, lui-même un ex-militaire, a donc un accès semblable aux journalistes dit traditionnels. M. Brooks, un vendeur d'assurance, a créé il y a deux ans The Torch (, un blogue entièrement dédié aux activités de l'armée canadienne. Et pour venir en Afghanistan, il a pris deux semaines de vacances! Motivé, dites-vous?

[Google Translation: At the camp, many journalists are present. But for the first time a blogger has been invited by the Canadian military. Damian Brooks, himself a former military has a similar access to traditional journalists said. Mr. Brooks, an insurance salesman, created two years ago The Torch (, a blog dedicated to the activities of the Canadian army. And to come to Afghanistan, it took two weeks of vacation! Motivated, you say?] BBS

Jean's coming back in a few months to embed for three weeks when the troops from Valcartier come in for the Relief in Place (RIP). I think this experience has really helped him prepare for that trip. I'll certainly be watching for his reports in the spring.

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Your contribution helps make this trip possible:


Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

My quick translation from M. Laroche:

'There are numerous journalists at the base. But for the first time a blogger has been invited by the Canadian Army. Damian Brooks, himself ex-military, thus has access similar to that of so-called traditional journalists. Mr Brooks, an insurance agent, created "The Torch" two years ago ( [actually just about three], a blog completely dedicated to the activities of the Canadian Army. To get to Afghanistan he had to take two weeks holiday! Motivated, don't you think?'


4:44 p.m., January 22, 2009  
Blogger Gilles said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:46 p.m., January 22, 2009  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

A taxpayer: It would do you well actually to read/read this blog.

The story you link to has already been posted, with the point that you make highlighted.

I'm not sure we need your guidance.


10:02 p.m., January 22, 2009  
Blogger Jay Currie said...

Insurance...Hmmmm. I thought you were basically J2F2 with a day job at Tim Hortons.

Great coverage.

Thank you!

12:57 a.m., January 23, 2009  

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