Happy New Year And Thank You!

We can't believe it is 2020 either, but we sure are glad that we will spend the new decade with all of you!

B1-B Training Mission
MSgt Kevin J. Gruenwald

Well, another one is in the bag! It hasn't really settled in that I am about to write "2020" on checks. Growing up, that date always seemed so far away, something reserved for science fiction, not reality. But here we are! A new decade full of possibilities and a great time to reflect on all the good in our lives, as well as the areas we could do better, too. One of those things I am most thankful for is all of you. I get it, we hear that a lot from companies and talking heads, it may seem like a boilerplate thing, yet it really isn't. I do what I love for a living. There isn't a day that I wake up, no matter what is on the docket, that I don't think about how fortunate I am to have such an incredible place to discuss the topics I am so passionate about, and I am only one part of that equation. 

This place is what it is because of so many people who take the time to help make it special. The hours that Joe Trevithick puts in and the dedication he shows for the subject never ceases to amaze me. He also deals with my crazy hours, demand for very particular product, and the bizarre rabbit holes we head down on a daily basis, but you probably already know that. I couldn't do it without him. He deserves so much credit.

This year saw new voices join our choir. Brett Tingley has evolved into an incredible deep research feature writer on topics that are nearly un-researchable. I am stunned with his growth and the thoroughness of his awesome work. I can't wait for what comes next from him. 

Chris "Ox" Harmer has written some amazing stories and given us the unique perspective that only a veteran Navy helicopter pilot with thousands of hours can. 

Tim McMillan has been a true joy to work with and to watch go about his work. He is the best old-school investigator I know. If he can't find the person or thing, nobody can.

John Denton, one of our most prolific commenters and a guy with two decades worth of special operations experience, has also waded into the editorial fray with great success. I am so excited to see more from him in the future. 

Beyond the new regulars, there are many others who have gone to incredible lengths to tell stories that need to be told—their stories. From Francesco "Paco" Chierici's life and times flying Intruders, Tomcats, and F-5s, to our esteemed Ancient Subhunter, Kevin Noonan, and his love affair with the S-3 Viking, and many more, these are the pieces that take so much time and effort that few outlets endeavor to even attempt such undertakings. 

Then there are all our sources, open-source intelligence gatherers, and social media contacts that provide so many leads and key details that make our work rise above the fray. I can't stress enough the value they add to our daily production. Often times they do so knowing that credit can't be given. Truly selfless support for the work we do. 

Our defense media counterparts who post great content we source on a daily basis also need honorable mention. Often times, their stories allow us to springboard into our own special treatments on the topics. Steve Trimble, the defense editor over at Aviation Week, is like an honorable member of the team. He is often the first person I reach out to when I need to bounce something off of. Such an incredible resource and a great guy that absolutely loves the topic. Like us, it's not just a job, it's a lifestyle!

In addition, all our defense industry communications representatives and Defense Department public affairs officers, some of which get us key information in amazingly quick timeframes, are so valuable. We can't thank them enough.

One of the most unique things about The War Zone is that it isn't just a website, it's a community. Our commenting crew, many of which have been with me for years, are absolutely magical. They are an incredible resource for all things, including laughs, and bring this site to life with their great discourse, moving personal stories, and witty quips. One of the highlights of my workday is slowing down and just reading what is going on in the comments. It's never dull.

One of the elements you the reader doesn't see is our incredible management, administrative team, and ownership team. They fully support what we do to an amazing degree and allow us to focus on the product. We are truly blessed to work with such intelligent, engaged, and motivated people. Simply put, it is the best and most cohesive overall team I have ever worked with, anywhere. A rare thing in this day and age of media business turmoil.

Last, but certainly not least, is you! Our readers! We survive because you come back every day. You share our posts on social media and tell your friends about the unique place that this is. When you open up your browser at work and check up on us it means more to us than you will ever know. I can't thank you all enough for sticking with us and spreading the gospel about what we offer here on a daily basis. 

The War Zone will continue to evolve and grow in the new year—or should I say decade—in great ways. There are no limits to what we can accomplish with such dedicated partners and readers in our orbit. 

With that being said, this is a great time for me to ask you what you like and what you want to see more of from us in 2020. Let us know in the comments below. 

I wish great prosperity and happiness to you and your families in the new year! 

Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com