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A look inside Eagles Talon

By Cpl. Jean-Philippe Lavigne
First published in
SFOR Informer#120, August 22, 2001

Sheltered in Eagle Base White House Headquarters, Multinational Division North (MND-N), they watch for any Task Force Eagle operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH. No information can escape them. They are not the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or Military Intelligence (MI), but Talon, an Army-funded magazine authorised for members of the U.S. Army and produced in the interest of the service members of Task Force Eagle. The magazine is published weekly by the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanised).

Tuzla - From her office, Staff Sgt. Lisa Dunphy, Talon's managing editor, co-ordinates Eagle Base, Camp Comanche and Camp McGovern's journalist crews. "That's my favourite part of the job, getting pieces to come together, planning out the paper, trying to get into peoples' heads," she says.
Talon is a 10-page colour magazine. Besides traditional rubrics like “Soldier on the street,” it features “Chaplain's Message” and “Commander's Corner,” giving advise and showing soldiers the way to act. You can find about three articles per week, telling stories about Task Force Eagle Operations: training, de-mining operations or CIMIC operations.
From its Managing Editor, "Talon proves that SFOR has done its job in BiH. If Russian and American troops are able to work together, if Bosnian-Serbs and Bosnian-Croats can build bridges together, it's because something here is working. Sure it's command information, anything that is controversial doesn't go in the Talon." Talon's journalists are first and foremost military, with all the constraints that means: the reserve required, political correctness, army's reticence about press. "You balance your craft around what has to be said and how it has to be said and done. People expecting hard- hitting journalism have knocked on the wrong door. Our mission is to tell people why we are here and what we are doing. Most of the soldiers are not allowed to go out of the camp, we have the opportunity to show them what's going on outside. I would like this paper to act as a huge eye opener."
Sgt. Dunphy takes pride in having covered Srebrenica Memorial Honours. But nothing compares to the excitement procured by her first article. "None of us are professional journalists, we are all reservist or National Guardians. Some are policemen, some work in computers, others are students… It's very hard for me to write if I don't feel emotional attachment to it. Talon gives us the opportunity to open ourselves to the world. In this place you realise that your world is every body else world."

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: US