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Feb-19-2008 12:23printcomments

Help Fund our War Coverage in Iraq

It's a different kind of war funding.

Tim King on the Ghar outside of Kabul, Afghanistan
Tim King on the Ghar outside of Kabul, Afghanistan in January 2007 Photo by Jerry Golden

(SALEM, Ore.) - For the second time in two years, Salem-News.com reporter Tim King will travel across the world to the Mideast to cover war. He will specifically report on the actions of Oregon soldiers deployed in Iraq during their yearlong tour of duty.

The soldiers in Iraq that Tim will be embedded with are primarily Oregonians. These are civilian soldiers far from home who are living through one of our nation's longest military conflicts.

You can have a direct impact on the coverage these soldiers will receive, and they get very little, by helping us prepare to meet the many demands that this type of international coverage entails.

There are a number of items mentioned below, that will greatly affect the success of our work in Iraq. Tim King spent two months over the winter of 2006/07 covering the Oregon Guard in Afghanistan. That experience allows Salem-News.com to have a much clearer idea about what it takes to cover war.

Communications

One thing that will greatly aid our mission is an international cell phone and calling plan that allows minutes from Baghdad. Tim can call in reports on a cell phone from any number of areas in Iraq and good communications are also essential for communicating with news staff here in Oregon to coordinate stories.

Other items like the Blackberry phone would be extremely helpful.

Still shots

Tim is primarily a video journalist but still images are important and we are hoping that a good quality digital still camera can be provided for the trip. This does not have to be expensive or fancy, just something that can shoot at a somewhat rapid pace.

Tim's still shots generally come from video clips and being able to shoot high quality still photos is important in the larger picture.

It is also popular for Tim to take photos of soldiers and provide them to the troops. The expenses mount along with Tim's desire to provide copies for the soldiers, so any assistance in this area is greatly appreciated.

More Video Options

It is a shame to go so far and not have the best equipment. Tim's DVCPRO video camera that he took to Afghanistan is under repair at this time and should be ready to go for the trip to Iraq in March. A second camera, a Sony PD-150, will serve as a backup. Neither of these cameras are HD. If any groups are interested in providing an improved main camera, please contact us at the email below.

Helmet mounted video cameras are another essential must-have for this type of coverage. We are looking for two of these cameras to send to Iraq with Tim, and we need plenty of SD memory cards to hold media.

Other high tech items

Tim's Dell dual core laptop computer survived two months in Afghanistan and continues to serve the company as a major workhorse. The DVD burner is broken and there are other small problems, therefore a newer laptop computer is another item that would help and add further reliability, something that can not be overrated in a war zone.

Another item we could use one or two more of are external hard drives that hold 120 Gigs or more. In this case, the ones that are self powered are required. All of Tim's equipment is arranged to be functional in a combat zone and run off batteries for hours. It worked well in Afghanistan, but upgrades really help.

Body armor

Salem Police in Oregon loaned Tim a SWAT vest for Afghanistan. This generous move allowed Tim to gain entry with the military, but the vest is not effective at stopping AK-47 bullets.

Those who watched Tim's coverage from Afghanistan, saw him change from using the black police vest, and adopt a green vest that had even less protection, but included the ceramic plate in the chest area that stopped the dreaded 7.62 rounds that have claimed so many lives.

The green vest seen in later video reports was loaned to Tim by the Army. It was an interpreter's vest that is provided to local Afghan nationals who accompany American soldiers on patrols. The Army was not willing by their own rules, to provide Tim the type of vest the soldiers wore, which are the ones that are the safest.

If any groups, individuals or companies would like to raise Tim's safety level while in Iraq, please consider providing at upgraded ballistic type vest. This is an item we are happy to borrow and return. If you know of a company that might help, please let us know.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Knopp's Jewelers in Salem for providing Tim's military helmet as well as several other local businesses and individuals who assisted.

Other things

There are plenty of other needs that exist, and we are hoping for items like hiking socks, rugged military style clothing, and other items that could be useful.

Tim received immunizations for the Mideast for the Afghanistan trip but expenses exist for malaria pills and other safety related medical items.

There are also travel expenses. Tim will be traveling from New York to Kuwait with Evergreen Aviation out of McMinnville, Oregon, but travel and lodging costs still exist for getting Tim across the U.S.

Making a difference

Sending a reporter into harm's way to cover the actions of our state's civilian soldiers is a risky business. We appreciate help and assistance from our community and from other Americans who want to see real stories about real people serving at war. It isn't about politics.

For those who can attend, a special event will be held Sunday, March 9th at Eola Hills Winery in Rickreall, Oregon, FROM 12:30-3:00 pm. This is a Salem-News.com sponsor that was instrumental in helping us raise funds for the trip to Afghanistan. We will bring you more information as we near the event, and look for additions to the list of needs as well. All of those who help will be credited in our war reports.

Contact Bonnie King at: bonnie@salem-news.com and tell her what you would like to do to help. Tim is the father of several boys ranging from 8 to 24 and they all appreciate the community's support in making this a safe and effective project.

To Help, donate via PayPal:

To send a check:
Salem-News.com
Attn: Iraq Trip
P.O. Box 5137
Salem, Oregon 97304

THANK YOU!!

Other stories on Tim's upcoming war coverage in Iraq:

If you Really Care About our Soldiers in Iraq

Salem-News Reporter Heads to War Again




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Henry Ruark February 20, 2008 8:28 am (Pacific time)

M.G: Heaven forbid any "advice" re words-with-wife !! BUT here's example of precisely what media should be doing: News from front by one we know we can trust... Best to you both and surely appreciate your strong good wishes for Tim.


War Funding February 19, 2008 11:28 pm (Pacific time)

Call David Wu. He has had millions donated to his campaign for selling T-Shirts to the Marine Corps. Patty up in Washington also knows something about how all that "special" funding and donations work.


M Gomez February 19, 2008 3:06 pm (Pacific time)

How about Google or one of the Portland television stations? Is not Salem-News.com affiliated or have previous work experience so they will contribute? I may be able to send something, but the wife, she's not too thrilled with a lot of the media. My prayers that you receive all you need and more.

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