Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Wield the sword to teach the pen, sculpt the model citizen

The citizen-soldiers of the National Guard get their own magazine: Mr. Powers and Mr. Brown, two executives of Iostudio, a Nashville media company, came up with GX, a valentine to the National Guard, with articles about men and women who left their jobs and families to fight and rebuild in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Filled with poems written by children of soldiers who have been activated, photo features of the National Guard offering a helping hand and how-to articles about being a better fighter, GX, which stands for "Guard Experience," might be viewed as quaint at a time when many Americans have complicated opinions about the country's military efforts abroad. But the magazine, which has been coming out every other month since March 2004 and is mailed free to most National Guard members, is seen by many in the Guard as a necessary corrective to media coverage that seems substantially negative. "We feel that the other side, the controversial aspects of serving in the Guard, is being well covered by other outlets," said Mr. Brown, who is the magazine's editor in chief, with Mr. Powers its publisher. "We want to make a magazine that will be appropriate for the 12-year-old son or daughter to find on the coffee table and read through without getting upset. We wanted something that represented and celebrated the real-world Guard experience." Nifty. With their current level of deployment, I have no doubt this is well-deserved.

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