Sunday, September 23, 2007

Student reporter embedded in Iraq

It all started with a story he was writing for The Daily Princetonian.

Last fall, Wesley Morgan, then a Princeton freshman and a cadet in the university's ROTC program, interviewed a lieutenant general named David Petraeus for a profile he was writing for the Princeton student newspaper.

Little did the young reporter know that the plum interview would lead to a summer of reporting in Iraq.

Morgan continued to write about Petraeus as he was promoted to four-star general and commander of the U.S. forces in Iraq.

"When Petraeus had been in command in Iraq for a few weeks, I emailed him for help in finding an interesting internship for the summer," Morgan wrote last week in the first of a series of columns to be published in The Daily Princetonian. "His reply: Sure, he could suggest an internship, but wouldn't I rather go to Iraq? Well, of course I would — wouldn't you?"

Morgan had difficulty making all the arrangements but Bill Roggio, a conservative blogger affiliated with The Weekly Standard, stepped in, offering to help him get to Iraq. On July 23, armed with the latest Harry Potter book, Morgan boarded a plane to London and then made a connecting flight to Kuwait.

Morgan spent five weeks embedded with different units in Iraq, recording his observations in a blog, Notes from Downrange.

Meanwhile, his story has been picked up by The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and Harper's Magazine.

Wesley, we'd love to hear from you about your experiences. Post a comment here.

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