My Rules of Engagement

I’ve made a ‘page’ for this, outside the blog, but will leave this up for awhile…

Recently, more Marines have been reaching out to me in one way or another (a good thing) offering to provide info, or talk about their experiences.  And during our first talk or chat session, I try to cover a few of my own “rules of engagement”, the guidelines I’ve set out for myself.  Also, for you that are contacting me (thank you), I’ll include some suggestions that will help as we start to talk.  Reading these ahead of time can speed things up a little.  This is my first attempt to write these down, so they may morph and grow a bit…


Respect.  You should know that I have immense respect for your service and your sacrifice.  Even if — and this is important — you feel like you didn’t really see ‘action’, or don’t feel you did anything special, I deeply respect your willingness to step up in a time of war, and to serve our country.  I understand there are many kinds of sacrifices that servicemen and women make. Most are unseen and unrecognized.  I also know the sacrifices that families make when their Marine, soldier, airman, sailor or guardsman goes off to serve in a combat zone.

Not Looking for Dirt.  I’m not out to make anyone look bad, or uncover something someone did wrong.  This is not an exposé of any sort.  Quite the opposite.

Patience.  I’ve been engaging with 3/2 Marines for about 18 months now, and I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) not to rush things. A few times I’ve asked questions too soon, or assumed something I shouldn’t have.  So I’m willing to go slow, to let you get to know me and my motivations first.  Frankly, I might be too slow.  So if you’re ready to share some stuff without a lot of intro, let me know.

Confidentiality and Permission.  Whatever personal info or memories you share with me I will keep to myself, unless and until you say its OK.  I won’t post or publish that kind of thing without your express permission.  To clarify, there are many things about the 2005 deployment that are already publicly available, or that I’ve already been told.  Those fall in a different category.  But if you share personal memories, feelings, opinions, quotes and images with me, I treat them as confidential until I get permission.

Typical Contact.  Most commonly, initial contact is via Facebook or LinkedIn, sometimes thru email, and then we figure out a time for a phone call.  The first call is often a short one, where we just get to know each other a bit.  Then, if you’re willing we can start getting into more substance.  Sometimes thats a few more calls, and sometimes its with a series of chat sessions.  I don’t record phone calls, but I do take notes as best I can.  Usually, I type up my notes and email them to you so you can make comments or corrections.  Those notes are just between you and I, like I said above. If I want to use a quote or story, I’ll ask your permission.

On your end, here are a few things I’d like you to keep in mind:
(its late, so I’ll flesh these out later)

I already know a lot. You may be surprised at things I know.

Dates, times and places. These are the details that I’ll need at some point.

Patience. I may not be able to get back with you for awhile. Don’t assume I’m not interested, or that your story isn’t important.




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