The IAV Stryker, the currnt vehicle used for mechanized operations. (Ken Hudnall/

Back in the saddle again – Old soldiers never die, they come back as journalists

EL PASO – It was Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now who said “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” For me it is the sound of powerful diesel engines idling, hinting just a promise of the power at your command and diesel fumes filing the air that takes me back to an earlier time when it was my company waiting to move out to the field. I had been a career Infantry Officer until my injury. I took the uniform off long ago, but the feel and the thrill of moving a company of men and vehicles to engage an enemy is a feeling that is never forgotten. So when this assignment came along, I did not have to think long before agreeing to work as an embedded reporter in a military exercise at Fort Bliss, Texas.