For more than 20 years, I dreamed of starting a defense website dedicated to those who serve and have served. Often the idea was my last thought at night and my first in the morning.
But something always stopped me from pursing it. At first, it was the problem of my reach exceeding my grasp. I had the idea but not the skills or experience to pull it off. Then came military reporting jobs in Tokyo and Hampton Roads, Va., where, for nearly 10 years, I lived and breathed military and veterans’ issues.
In 2003, with the United States fighting two wars, I landed a reporting job in San Diego, home to the country’s largest defense community. Here, I would report on the military for the next six years.
In San Diego, I found that, just when more military news was needed, less was being produced due to staff cuts. When I, myself, was laid off, I knew it was time to chase my dream so long deferred. And, more importantly, I knew I had the skills to make it happen.
Let me put my years of reporting experience to work for you. If you find something you like on this website, tell a friend about DefenseTracker.com. If you find something you don’t, tell me.
The Defense Department and the industrial defense complex are multi-billion dollar institutions with discernable hubs of activity. San Diego County is one of the largest. According to a July 2009 report by the National University System Institute for Policy Research, direct and indirect military spending in San Diego County is a staggering $22.3 billion. An estimated $1 of every $7 of regional economic activity here – not to mention nearly 475,000 jobs – is tied to defense spending.
San Diego is also home to the largest concentration of military men and women in the country. From naval bases in southern San Diego County to the Marine camp in the north, upwards of 125,000 service members live and work here. Dependents and reservists add tens of thousands more to this number. About 270,000 veterans also live in the county with many thousands more just outside its borders.
Despite this large population, there is a shortage of impartial information available for our veterans and service members. In addition, there is almost no non-business reporting on defense contractors here or their contributions to this country’s defense.
Will this website only have information pertinent to San Diego and Southern California?
No. While this site often will use examples found in the western United States, the information here will have application across the country.
How will DefenseTracker.com be different from other military websites?
Three words: Localized original content.
Most military websites rely on one-size-fits-all stories written from Washington, D.C. These stories are only slightly more valuable than the weather report for another time zone since they don’t answer the question of what is happening right now right here.
News is interesting if it tells you something. News is valuable if it solves you something.
Another difference is that DefenseTracker.com isn’t interested in rewriting a national story available on other websites. If you can find it some place else, you probably won’t find it here.