Thank you so much for War. It deserves a place alongside the best works of combat journalism, and may well serve as the defining account of this conflict. While many have noted your commitment to your craft by working under fire and in combat conditions, I'd like to acknowledge the personal commitment and fortitude it took to expose yourself to the judgement, disdain, and derision of the soldiers you covered. I've worked as a reporter, and known too many who didn't understand the need to put themselves in a subject's shoes, or that learning about people is two-way street. They'd get answers, but rarely learn anything. As a reader, one of the more engrossing elements of War was the sense of discovery, that I was learning as you did. Having worked with cops and firefighters I have a sense of playing by "big boy rules," but I'm not sure what the ramifications of that was in regards of your use of the satellite phone (p.79.) Am I reading correctly that you and the commander in Zabul felt that it would be alienating and have a demoralizing effect if the troops were aware that you could call home at leisure? I guess I also consider an element of big boy rules that you make your choices, act on them, and accept responsibility: excuses don't cut it.
My other question is regarding (p. 236). I'm afraid I don't know what an Israeli "attack diver" does, so I don't have a sense of what distinguishes one as a far better fighter than another. I get the point that better fighters tend to be non-conformists, but one of those warriors from another.
Thank you again for this amazing work, thank you of course to our soldiers for their service, and for allowing you to share their experience.
I'd appreciate your thoughts if you have the time.
P.S. My father was a combat medic in Korea. He passed away before we had the chance to discuss his service as adults, but your description of medic's job gave me new insight in to his experience. Thank you for that.