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The War Tapes: Guest Blogger Major Greg Heilshorn: A monstrous leap of faith

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Guest Blogger Major Greg Heilshorn: A monstrous leap of faith

heilshorn.JPGThe War Tapes would never have happened without Public Affairs Officer Major Heilshorn. Here are his thoughts on his extraordinary decision to allow -- and support -- soldiers carrying cameras throughout a year in Iraq, into places and conversations no embedded journalists can go.

My job as the public affairs officer for the NH National Guard is to tell the story of our citizen-soldiers. Deborah's idea of enabling a group of soldiers to tell their own story by outfitting them with cameras made perfect sense. It wasn't a matter of deciding to bypass the traditional media embed process. This was simply a better way. This was an opportunity to document a truer story.

Charlie Company took a monstrous leap of faith by committing to the project. We had no idea how it would turn out. The soldiers who stuck with it demonstrated the same unflinching approach to their filming as they showed in their daily infantry missions. As the public affairs officer, I could not ask for anything more than that. They gave us an honest portrayal of the citizen-soldier through his own eyes. That has been our "spin" when we have had to justify the project, which happened on several occasions throughout the filming.

What the soldiers accomplished through this documentary is unprecedented and historic. They deserve our sincere respect for being so honest and accessible.

MAJ Greg Heilshorn
Public Affairs Officer, NH National Guard