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Straight From Iraq
By Richard Rubright
Feb 21, 2008 - 9:05:47 PM

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RICHARD RUBRIGHT I will be embedded with US troops for a minimum of 8 weeks and hope to bring Observer News readers a story and pictures on a weekly basis.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Richard Rubright and I have contracted with the Observer News to write stories from Iraq. As a resident of Apollo Beach and a graduate of East Bay High School I have strong roots in South Hillsborough county.

My writing, however, comes from a strange twist of fate. I am also producing a Ph.D. from an University in England and need to do research in Iraq in support of that effort. This contract should provide the Observer News and me with an opportunity to reach both our objectives.

I will be embedded with US troops for a minimum of 8 weeks and hope to bring  Observer News readers a story and pictures on a weekly basis. However, in the environment of Iraq the internet can be intermittent at best.  If a story is missing or late, bear with us and we will catch up in as timely a manner as possible. 

I would strongly caution anyone else thinking of going to Iraq as a form of extreme tourism to  reconsider such an endeavor.   I speak a bit of Arabic having lived in Yemen for a year on my own, studied war and history as an undergraduate and  postgraduate student,  and spent 5 years in the US Army Special Forces. All of this went a long way in convincing both the newspaper and the US Military that I am qualified to be embedded as a journalist. 

This type of reporting is also not for the feint of heart.  Many Apollo Beach residents may recall seeing me walk or run through the community in full body armor preparing for the physical rigors of  an Infantry Battalion assignment.

Another point of mention is that I do not intend to send stories, pictures or video clips of gratuitous violence.  These articles are meant to give news and analysis of the conflict. They are not intended to glamorize nor provide a grotesquely pornographic view of conflict.

I hope you will find my articles informative and entertaining.  My goal  is to provoke thought and consideration for the brothers in arms who serve daily as they risk their lives to bring a better life to a people far away.

Understandably,  questions and concerns will come to mind as you read my columns.  I welcome feedback as well as questions at  

The column will focus on technology in the US Military in addition to human interest stories about  soldiers and how the two intermix.  There will also be news reports with photos of general interest.

 I look forward to your comments over the next 8 weeks as I do my best to better understand the situation, and thereby, help you, the  Observer News readers to understand the situation as well.

Your local reporter in Iraq,

                  Richard Rubright.

What follows is a public comments section. This is not from the Observer News staff - it comes from other people and contains their opinions and theirs alone. The Observer News does not control the material that follows. We do, however, reserve the right to remove objectionable material at our discretion. By that we mean that we will edit or delete any content that we deem is inappropriate. By posting your comments, you are stating that you agree to these terms.

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