I'm working on an in-depth profile of the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division Artillery.
Col. Christopher Moretti, the commander, has invited me out to several of his units' training events. I've always been struck by how invested Moretti is with his troops.
In early March, a photographer and myself tagged along with Moretti as he observed some typical certification training for one of his units. It was an interesting glimpse into how Moretti watches his young leaders prepare soldiers for potential deployments.
I'll post a link to the profile when it's complete - it's set to run the week Moretti relinquishes command during his formal Change of Command ceremony.
Left photo: Col. Christopher Moretti - in his typical stance with his arms behind his back - observes his cannon crews during a training exercise at Fort Bragg in March.
Every year the 82nd Airborne Division celebrates its history during All American Week.
I covered the Little Group of Paratrooper competition.
Here's a glimpse of the competition as the paratroopers jumped. Once they hit the ground, they had to complete several tasks, including putting their weapon into service.
You can read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/military/paratroopers-compete-to-be-named-best/article_d6a163b7-b900-51ea-9f7b-2325ba8cb4e0.html
Above photo: Soldiers from the 18th Airborne Corps listen to a briefing before they go into the gas chamber.
It seems every soldier has a story about the gas chamber.
Every soldier goes through it at basic training. At Fort Bragg, soldiers go through it as they prepare to deploy.
I did a quick-hit story on the gas chamber training for a slice-of-life series at The Observer. Check out the photos!
You can read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/monday-moment-airborne-soldiers-take-a-trip-through-a-tear/article_f4d81041-a4a5-5073-8b76-c45bce7a7c36.html
About 100 soldiers from the 18th Field Artillery Brigade headquarters returned home from the nine-month deployment in early May. The headquarters provided targeting, coordination and synchronization of long-range precision fires.
Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commanding general of the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, congratulated the soldiers on their mission in the Middle East. They trained with partners, deterred potential adversaries and took the fight to ISIS, Townsend said.
Left photo: Joey, a CBS photographer, and I wait for the troops to return. This flight came in around 3 a.m.
You can read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/military/fort-bragg-soldiers-reunite-with-loved-ones-after-deployment/article_5d007b2b-6d83-5c20-82ef-0fa6397fb283.html
I have to interrupt my normally military-related blog posts because I WENT TO QUEEN BEY'S CONCERT!!!!!!!!
I have to admit, I was a casual Beyonce fan before I saw her. I only went to the show because my friends found super cheap (and I mean that in the context of Beyonce, whose tickets are in the thousands) tickets the week before her show.
She was incredible.
Her new music is empowering. But I was blown away that this woman danced through 36 songs (2+ hours) at times during rain. Yes, I was at the show that had to be evacuated twice due to lightning.
I need to see her again.
Behind the byline
Here's an inside look at how some of my favorite stories came together.