My life, Bullet form

I went to my Web site this morning and saw that I have not posted anything in months. The reason? I am short on time; I am always short on time. So here goes my update:

- I went back to work. I had been a freelance writer for a business publication called Business Insurance since I waddled out of their Chicago office nine months pregnant in 2007--I was an associate editor at the time. I call it maternity "left." I decided to stay home with my first son. My editor Regis offered me the opportunity of a lifetime when he told me that it is possible to be a journalist and change poopy diapers. In time, I became their busiest freelancer writer. (And busy at home, too; the second child arrived about a year and a half later.) As some of you know I went on to freelance for the newspaper--North County Times and San Diego Union Tribune--and wrote a book. Maybe you've heard of it? (Wink.) Anywho, in September 2016 editor Gavin called me while I was shopping for school supplies at Target, inviting me back to work full-time. Yippee! Although I travel for conferences and such I work primarily from home.

-I won another writing award! One of my first major pieces for Business Insurance was one on post-traumatic stress disorder and first responders. That piece went on to win gold in investigative journalism the national and midwest regional Azbee awards and--as I learned while attending the awards ceremony in St. Petersburg, Florida recently--the Stephen Barr Award. Azbee awards are a big deal for business writers (cue Ron Burgundy) so it was amazing to be recognized. To read more and to see a video of my explaining my work, click here.

-I'm still working on my author career. I finished my first novel last summer. It's now working its way through the agents--several have asked for the full manuscript. This is a slow process so I am glad I have other things to keep my mind occupied: like, my second novel. This one is in the research phase and I have set a goal for myself to have something to show by December. And that may be a little ambitious of me because...

-We are moving. More on this one later...

-Still working on the USS Frank E. Evans issue. A few weeks ago an aid in Sen. Chuck Schumer's office called me--the situation had changed drastically. I said, Jordan, I'm going to send you some PDFs. Print them, grab a highlighter, and call me back. And then we went, page by page, line by line. In a nutshell: The Navy, the DoD, the sugarplum fairy.... whomever... Took. Away. Medals. That's right. They removed Vietnam Service Medals from six navy vessels involved in the SEATO exercise that served as the last dance for the Evans and 74 men who lost their lives tragically on June 3, 1969. My argument has always been that in additional to the exercise, the Evans and the American vessels had peripheral objectives that were connected to the war effort. Was it an administrative error that all the American ships got Vietnam service credit during that time? I doubt it. You could argue if it were one ship, maybe. But the participating ships of a destroyer squadron, plus a carrier, plus a rescue tug? No. The DoD says they conducted a "de novo" investigation on it. I've asked about the scope of that and here's what we have: (cue crickets.) De novo is such a fancy concept, don't you think? So there we have it: the third tragedy. The first, the collision. The second, leaving the names off the Vietnam Wall. The third, altering naval records to make your case a little less wobbly. Sneaky, fellas. You were sloppy about it, too. I don't want to get Where's Waldo on you but you missed some things. As Sen. Schumer said on social media on Memorial Day, the fight continues.


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