Introduction: Jim Enderle
Introduction: Jim Enderle, Dispatches Editor
I was asked to introduce myself, so here goes. I’m an active duty (until this November’s retirement) Navy Chief Petty Officer/Hospital Corpsman stationed in Groton, CT. I oversee, as leading chief, Substance Abuse Rehabilitation/Traumatic Brain Injury/Behavior Health Clinics situated on the Navy’s New London Submarine Base. After retirement, I hope to continue serving my comrades in arms in one form or another.
After joining Military Writers Society of America a few months ago, I asked: What might I do to forward the organization's purpose? A great opportunity presented itself, and lo and behold here I am as editor of MWSA's monthly Dispatches magazine. Perhaps there are no coincidences.
During my time in the military I’ve served with four armed service branches: on Navy ships, aboard ships with Marines and, for the year January 2007-2008, an Air Force convoy team in Iraq. We were stationed on an Army forward operating base and were among 20,000 additional troops deployed to Iraq as a part of the Surge. During that year, I learned that each person with whom I served and their families had his or her unique and compelling story. From interpreters to the troops themselves, we all found our own ways to cope in a combat environment. We laid trails of bread crumbs or ribbons on trees hoping to use them to find our way back home. Incredibly, but not surprising to me, and for a wide variety of reasons, some feared the transition home more than facing the rigors of war.
Upon returning from Iraq, I became an avid reader of personal accounts of soldiers of any generation. I began to wonder: Are books being written about today’s military generation and how do they relate to an experience like mine? In finding these books and authors, I found MWSA in which members can tell their own stories in any format with which they’re comfortable.
I’m originally from Chicago and follow all of the city’s sports teams. Having grown up a mile from Wrigley Field, I've been waiting for that next Cubs championship. Yes, I'm serious! My wife Cindy and I have been married for 20 years and have two great sons, Alfonso (18) and Lorenzo (16). They’re itching to hike the Appalachian Trail after my retirement this fall.
Copy Editor’s Note: Jim has run in several marathons and put together a team for the Boston Marathon. For the latter, pledges gathered by Jim and other team members benefited a Navy nurse who was forced to resign due to complications from ALS (Lou Gehrig Disease). Editor Jim, welcome aboard the good ship, MWSA!