Kudos + Congrats, Sunday ProJo edition


K + C to:

-- Katie Mulvaney, who will succeed Ed Fitzpatrick on the court beat for the ProJo now that Ed has made his debut as the paper's political columnist. Mulvaney is no doubt well-prepared, as she has spent much time covering court-related stories involving the Narragansetts.

-- Kathy Gregg, who keeps fighting the good fight at the State House and who is becoming increasingly simpatico with this blogging this, firing off, for example, recent posts on which lawmakers still get free health coverage, a 4.3 percent raise for lawmakers, and the Carcieri administration giving its head of legal services a new title and a $33k raise.

-- Former ProJo scribe Chris Chivers, who continues to do superb work at the New York Times, such as a piece yesterday about the American effort to save the life of an injured Afghan cook. Chivers' background with the Marines was a selling point when the Times hired him, and he excels in personalizing faraway conflicts with Hemingwayesque brevity and detail.

The captain pushed his hand into Jamaludin’s mouth. He would keep this man alive. “Don’t bite my thumb,” he said, as much to himself as to a patient who spoke no English.

Jamaludin’s jaws clamped shut. “Ahhh,” the captain said, fighting to keep his hand there until suction and a breathing tube could be snaked down.

Combat Outpost Lowell is a company-size American and Afghan position in Nuristan Province, near the border with Pakistan. Far from view and named for Jacob Lowell, an Army specialist killed in the province in 2007, it is meant to play a remote role in the counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan, disrupting the Taliban and foreign fighters on a route to Pakistani tribal areas, and tying up Taliban forces far from more populated areas. It is one of the United States’ most forward positions in a war now in its eighth year.

Isolated, ringed by forested ridges and under such regular fire that helicopter pilots prefer to avoid flying here, especially by day, the outpost imposed an unforgiving condition: anyone injured would have to wait for an evacuation. It was up to Captain Rodriguez and a team of trauma medics to keep Jamaludin alive.

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