Army job as a photojournalist allows me to see some of the world, too!
07/01/1986 - 07/15/1986 82 °F
Camp Oso Grande, Honduras
A great adventure awaited me in Honduras. The U.S. Army was building a road through rough, hilly terrain. The training mission was to teach our engineer units to do this, the PR mission was to make a road so the farmers could more easily get their produce to market. I was a reporter in a public affairs detachment, sent out with a photographer and officer to do an article on this project. We flew in to a base camp via helicopter that gave the officer strong heebie-jeebie memories of Vietnam. It was called Oso Grande, but its amenities were anything but "oh-so grand."
We were accompanied by an interpreter on two separate days of driving around, interviewing the locals. For a college kid from Central Ohio, the hardscrabble villages of Honduras were an eye-opener. The people were invariably friendly, though, and I enjoyed my time quite a bit.
I definitely remember the young kids of Honduras. They clustered around you eagerly, smiling. We took polaroid photographs of them and handed them out, along with various knick-knacks and trinkets. The photographer who accompanied me, John Wagner, took some priceless photographs that went on to win awards. I was pleased with my story, although it did not win any awards that I know of.
A month or so after we got back, there was a call for more public affairs specialist by the command group. My editor, another specialist, and myself signed up to go back down for two more weeks. I saw WAY more of Honduras this time. We were tasked with creating a "Welcome to Honduras" brochure for deploying soldiers. In addition to giving them good information about the weather, currency, customs, etc., we also did a few paragraphs on local sights that soldiers might get a chance to visit in off-time. This meant I got to see the amazing Mayan ruins of Copan, the capital Tegucigalpa, and other interesting places in Honduras.
All in all, going to Honduras with the Army was an interesting opportunity to experience another part of the world that I might not have otherwise.