May 19, 2008

Name: Eric Coulson
Posting date: 5/19/08
Returned from: Iraq
Milblog: Badgers Forward

Today I turn 40 years old. This, for what ever reason, seems like the appropriate place to end Badgers Forward.

When I conceived of this blog I imagined something as big a Blackfive except from the war zone. I suppose if you are going to dream, dream big. While this blog never reached that level of readership I think I did a fairly respectable job of gaining a readership and turning out consistent quality writing. I am generally proud of the job I have done with the blog.

Why end it? I was tempted to end it last year when I left Team Badger and Task Force Pathfinder as they all departed theater and I moved from the Ramadi - Falluja corridor to southern Iraq. Mrs. Badger 6 prevailed on me to keep blogging. The blog was simply not as good when I moved away from Command to work on a Brigade Staff. Life has a different flavor between those two jobs and staff work simply made for little good blog fodder. The most interesting things would either have given away future operations or been nothing more than catty. I like to think that I was above the latter and would certainly not engage in the former.

Although I conceived of the blog as a general Milblog, it really evolved into the story of the Soldiers of Company A, 321st Engineer out of Idaho and Utah. To continue blogging under this title and screen name would completely change the nature of the blog and in my view would corrupt the original intent. I want to write about other things besides the war in Iraq, and since I no longer have a front-row view, other venues seem more appropriate.

As I mentioned in the opening, I am proud of Badgers Forward. Milblogging is a new genre, and I think I have been an important part of developing that genre.

I would like to take one last chance to remind you to purchase The Sandbox, the compendium of blog posts to which the Teflon Don and I contributed. Get Sean Michael Flynn's The Fighting 69th and Michael Yon's The Moment of Truth in Iraq. See This is War. Continue to follow Iraq and the War against  Islmaofascism at The Long War Journal.

What's next for me? Well, I have been accessed to Active Duty; this summer I will go to school to re-branch and fuse my civilian and military careers. Someday I may return to blogging, but for now I want to focus on MB6, our dogs, and my Army career. I will also occasionally add something at Mudville.

I want to thank Mrs. Badger 6 for her love and support. Blackfive and Bill Roggio for being good blog role models. My Commander in Ramadi for supporting the project even when he was not completely sure it was a good thing. The Readers for showing up everyday to see what was going on from Iraq and all my fellow service members now serving in Iraq. Most importantly I want to thank the men and women who made up Team Badger, it was an honor and a privilege to serve with you on the front line in Iraq. You made a huge difference in the war, and I was glad to be there with you through all the good and the bad. I would not trade the experience for anything. You have my respect, admiration, and friendship. As long as Google keeps blogspot open, this will stand as a memorial to our fallen and a remembrance of our service.

Thank you for reading Badgers Forward.

Badger 6 Out.

Editor's note: We offer a Sandbox salute and big thanks to longtime and frequent contributor Eric Coulson, with much appreciation for all the good work. Here are links to some of his posts:



WHY? 11-9-07

LIKE A ROCK (slide show) 9-12-07







Thank you for your blog posts. I found The Sandbox in December when the afternoon paper closed and I went in search of a daily Doonesbury fix.

I have read many of your posts and taken them to heart. This milblog feeds my soul, and I am just a middle-aged civilian woman who lived through the Vietnam era with many some loved ones involved in that war.

I wish you a safe trip home and steady re-entry to stateside life.

Thanks for everything.

It's all downhill from where you are now, get a good look while you're still up there. Tomorrow your eyes will be too bad to see it clearly.

He was a great read. A really well done blog.

Thank you for your blog posts. They have brought home to me a sense of the reality of Iraq that no stateside source could offer. Stay well and safe and come home soon. Well done.

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