<--- His official head shot looks like this, but this is more like who I had the honor of springing free from Fort Dix yesterday afternoon.--->
This is my longtime pal and seemingly endless source of amusement, Sgt. Neil Gussman, now back from Iraq. How he ended up there at age 56 is quite the story, one that you'll find on his blog.
But because there's always more to the story and Neil has the enviable ability to transform his talents as a raconteur into writing, I didn't waste any time bugging him about getting started on that project. I counseled him to think prequel and sequel. He counseled me to slow down while driving on the Army base. Oh, all right.
Actually, Neil really doesn't need my counsel and I probably should beg for his. He's so skilled at landing "ink" (real and virtual) that during his tour in Iraq, I promoted him from being an Ink Whore to an Ink Madam. If memory serves me well, I believe he earned this after landing the New York Times blog post gig. Meanwhile, his Army buddies were calling him, "Sgt. Tool Bitch."
Once off the base, I violated the speed limit and headed for a diner where Neil ordered what he could not get while in Iraq -- an egg salad sandwich. He didn't even eat the whole thing because he's still feeling full from Army chow.
Please do not pity this man until you read his post about breakfast at Tallil Ali Air Base and this one about dinner. Please do join me in welcoming him back to serve his country on the home front.