Above photo: Pfc. James Groth and his widow, Jordan on their wedding day. Groth was killed Feb. 20, 2014 in an artillery accident on Fort Bragg.
As I was working on my profile of Sgt. Muzzy, I realized we never submitted a FOIA request for the investigative report. The accident occurred before I was promoted the military beat, so I immediately submitted the request and received it shortly after.
It is worth noting that FOIAs take *forever*.
The turnaround time is typically about a year, but since a year had already passed since the accident, this FOIA was returned faster than normal.
The report outlined several mistakes made that contributed to the death and severe injuries of soldiers participating in the artillery training.
I worked on a story that clearly translated military speak for our readers so they could understand what went so wrong.
The other story I wrote came from the actions of the medics.
As I read through the report, the thing that struck me was that, had these two medics not reacted so swiftly, the injuries could have been more severe. Even more impressive, these medics were fresh out of school. This accident was the first real-life test of their skills.
At first, the army was reluctant to let me interview the medics. I thought I would have to rely on the written statements they gave to investigators, which were part of the FOIA. Eventually, however, the Army made the medics available, and I did my best to capture their memories on the night of this tragic accident.
Read the stories here:
Fort Bragg officers, crew disciplined in fatal howitzer accident, report shows:
Young medics, fresh out of school, credited with saving Howitzer accident victims:
Cindy Burnham photo
Spc. Jordan Morales, left, and Spc. Jordan Moreno, medics with headquarters and headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Field Artillery Brigade, are credited with saving the lives of Sgt. Cory Muzzy and Spc. Scott Yeates.
Behind the byline
Here's an inside look at how some of my favorite stories came together.