I'm Back

It's been a month since I last published, and I can now explain my online absence. Briefly, I was following an order to cease blogging -- an order that is no longer in effect.

To my command, thank you for your time and your backing for reinstating this blog. I assure you that it is not remotely similar to the blogs coming from theater that use minimal, if any, judgment in respecting the demands of operational security.

To those of you who have followed what I have written, thank you for your patience. During the month when I was offline, many things have happened here and at home that should make this forum an interesting one for some time to come.

If you'd like to know more about the issues that arose around my blogging, here's the text of a letter I was prepared to send to friends if I'd been unsuccessful in assuring my command that the blog contained appropriate material and did not pose a threat to operational security.

By Bert Stover |  November 20, 2006; 12:49 PM ET  | Category:  Al Taqaddum, Iraq , Chain of Command , Family , Friends
Previous: The Letter I Did Not Have to Send | Next: Thanksgiving Deployed


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Glad you're back! I thought you were off doing official stuff, I never imagined they'd shut you down. Your posts are wonderful; they give those of us here at home a look at what you're going through and what wonderful folks you are. Hang in there, and know that there of plenty of us back here praying for you and hoping you come back safe and soon.

Posted by: a fan | November 20, 2006 01:27 PM


How're y'all at TQ? Welcome back. It's been a mighty dry spell.


Posted by: A Pilot's Dad | November 20, 2006 01:28 PM

Glad to to see you're back to let us know at least part of what is happening over there. Figured someone higher up had something to do with your absence from the blog.

Keep up the good work - both for washpost and the nation.

Posted by: TC | November 20, 2006 02:55 PM

Glad your back Chief, Never have commented but enjoy your articles. Have three son's involved in Iraq. Two STRYKER Bd LTC's and a Va NatGuard MP Sgt from Newport News. There all home now but the 172D STRYKER LTC. God willing end of the month they will be home. [16months duty]. Im a retired CWO from Korea thru Vietnam. Be proud, your part of not only the finest Army in the world, but the finest the US has ever fielded to combat. [In spite of civilian misuse and mismanagement.

Posted by: DreeD | November 20, 2006 03:18 PM

Good to see you back -- some things never change -- it was probably some green as grass shavetail who thought it was a good idea and a way to make brownie points!
I check the WashingtonPost online every day looking for your post. You and all of our people over there are in my prayers daily.
Keep safe and God Speed!

Posted by: BILL J | November 20, 2006 05:13 PM

Glad to see you back Bert, I missed the blog very much. Take care and be safe.

Posted by: CW2 Hill | November 21, 2006 05:37 AM

So glad you're back with your blog and that you are safe! I enjoy (and often learn from) every entry.

Stay safe!

Posted by: Robin S | November 21, 2006 11:10 AM

Glad to read your writings again.

Posted by: rrhurst | November 21, 2006 11:33 AM

Welcome back! I am one of your avid readers and have checked every day for your postings. Thanks for explaining your absence. I do not see any reason for superiors blocking your post. You are always careful with what you say. Keep blogging!

Posted by: Bloomsberry | November 21, 2006 11:40 AM

Good to hear it was a verbal shot across your bow, not a real shot that caused the pause. Keep your head in the game and come out safe.

Posted by: deydeaux | November 21, 2006 12:06 PM

Welcome back!! I have checked every day to see if your blog was there and today was a blessing to find you again. Your "pictures" of what it is like in Iraq are so helpfull. Take care.

Posted by: Carolyn Greenway | November 21, 2006 12:26 PM

Welcome back, Bert! I've been reading every one of your posts, and I'm glad that you're still safe and interested in doing this blog. I hope to hear more about you and your unit. Keep safe, get the job done, and come back home.

America is proud of You!

Posted by: Brian Smith (onetime soldier) | November 21, 2006 12:34 PM

Glad that you're back! I always check for your entries and appreciate your hard work in keeping the rest of us informed about what is happening on the other side of the world. Stay Safe!

Posted by: James | November 21, 2006 12:50 PM

I was getting worried about you. Keep safe Bert.

Posted by: Carolyn | November 21, 2006 03:18 PM

Welcome back. While I thought OpSec might be a problem, I was also concerned something might have happened to you. Glad to see you back and especially that you are healthy.

Posted by: john18 | November 21, 2006 03:52 PM

Glad to see you back. I checked every day to make sure you weren't cargo on any of my aircraft. I was worried that you had bent an aircraft (or worse) from the right seat .

Dave@McGuire AFB

Posted by: martid83 | November 21, 2006 05:52 PM

I always look forward to your posts and was getting worried about you. Thank goodness you are safe and back in business! Thanks again for explaining your absence. I did not see any reason for superiors blocking your post. Keep up the good fight.

Posted by: Connie | November 22, 2006 10:18 AM

We are VERY glad to hear from you. We were getting a wee bit concerned when we hadn't had any recent updates. Thank you so very much for your comments during the past year.

Posted by: rrb27 | November 22, 2006 05:27 PM

My concern too in not seeing a blog from you for such a long time was that you had come to harm. It is good to hear your accounts again. I would never have guessed them to be a threat to operational security. Your writing is engaging, and your care is diligent.

Posted by: Dennis M Callies | November 22, 2006 08:53 PM

Bert, glad to see your back. How does one address packages to you and your organization
there in Iraq?


Posted by: JerryK | November 22, 2006 10:31 PM

Just exactly who is General Zilmer? Is he bucking for promotion? (Don't publicly answer the last question.) Seems like the rules were relaxed after the election! Hmmmmm!

Posted by: colonels | November 23, 2006 12:16 AM

Its great to see your voice again, Bert

Peace to you and the world over there

Posted by: dave | November 23, 2006 09:45 AM

I was WONDERING what happened, Bert, and Marsh told me that you had been requested to go "offline". Really glad you are back as your postings are more like a diary of daily life, informative but also personal. I suspect they are particularly helpful to other military moms, but also to public in general. Anyway, your experiences were a main topic of conversation during our Thanksgiving holiday. Looking forward to seeing you when you get back...

Posted by: Rita Earl | November 25, 2006 10:18 PM

Bert - Glad to see your back, I was beginning to get worried. Take care.
Gary Owens

Posted by: Robert | November 28, 2006 12:55 PM

WOW, glad you are back on the blog. My combat tour years ago was shortened by my taking a zig instead of a zag. I was worried about you, son. By the way, you are invited to participate in the annual reunion of D Troop, Third Squadron, Fifth Cavalry. If interested, will send location and dates.
Keep the needles in the green.

Posted by: D/3/5Scout | November 28, 2006 01:44 PM

Glad you are safe and blogging again, but be careful not to be shut down for real by being publicly defensive about unlawful orders by a mid-level officer or by posting the letter you didn't have to send with the general's name.

Posted by: vet | November 28, 2006 02:08 PM

Soooooo glad you are back. Had that "mid-level" read your blog, he would have realized that you did not jeopardize any operation. My 33 year old who has been out of the Navy for sometime is trading the flight deck of a carrier and transitioning into the Army because of the shortage. He follows your blog faithfully as do I. Thanks for your service.

Posted by: Linda | November 28, 2006 06:41 PM

One benefit of Bert being off line for 1 month or so is that the political talking scheisters who so frequently ran their mouths might have gone else where to vent. hopefully they don't come back.

Bert and friends, take care, come home safe.

Posted by: Bill | November 30, 2006 08:09 PM


Great to see you blogging again. I was just thinking about you today as I read a story on helicopter support for a raid on insurgents in Baghdad.

We miss you here at wpni. Hope to see you on the softball field next spring. Keep safe and Happy Holidays.

Posted by: Snyder | December 1, 2006 09:31 AM

long time, no see. we share a couple of mutual friends and i've been wondering you how are doing out there. home soon, home soon... how do i contact/email you? i'll fill you in...cjciullo@yahoo.com

Posted by: ceej | December 1, 2006 10:35 PM

Hey, it's great to have a chance again to be part of this forum. Welcome back Bert!

Posted by: che | December 4, 2006 02:20 PM

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