Brittany (Breidenbach) Carlson (’07): Assistant editor of Army garrison newspaper
March 18, 2010
Writing was something Brittany (Breidenbach ’07) Carlson always loved to do. So, when she started college at Evangel University, it was only natural for her to major in journalism and start writing for The Lance, the student newspaper.
She planned to be a reporter for a daily newspaper in the United States. However, when she met Derek Carlson (’08), a political science major preparing to join the U.S. Army, all those plans changed.
The two were married during their senior year, and moved to Stuttgart, Germany, after graduation, where Derek was assigned to work as a platoon leader for the 554th Military Police Company.
While ecstatic to travel with Derek in Europe, Brittany wasn’t sure if she’d be able to find a job overseas. The only newspaper written in English was the Army garrison public affairs newspaper, The Citizen, then running on a full staff.
So, Brittany decided to volunteer as a freelance writer with no other goal in mind than maintaining her writing skills. She prayed for some type of job, since Derek’s company planned to deploy for a year to Afghanistan.
With a few months to go before Derek deployed, a writer left The Citizen unexpectedly, and Brittany became the Assistant Editor.
“It was definitely a blessing from God, and perfect timing, that I was hired,” Brittany said.
“The amazing part of it was that The Citizen is almost exactly like The Lance in its size and format,” she added. “It’s clear that God was preparing me for this job during my time at Evangel.”
Brittany’s articles in The Citizen earned several first place awards in the Keith L. Ware Department of the Army journalism competition for 2009. She took first place as a civilian journalist for story series, news article, and commentary for Army newspapers in Europe, and first place for story series in the Headquarters level competition. In addition, her series, which focuses on the emotional effects of deployments on military families, recently won first place in the overall Department of the Army competition.
She attributes her education at Evangel and training as a student reporter with paving the way for these achievements. “Having the support of Christian teachers who mentored me and encouraged me to improve made a huge difference in my life,” she said.
More importantly, she said her trust in God helped her to have peace during Derek’s deployment.
“Regardless of what job I do, whether it’s taking care of our home away from home or writing for the paper, I know that God is in control,” she said. “Holding on to that truth has helped Derek and me through this past year apart.”
Derek and his platoon work to train Afghan National Police soldiers and forge relationships with Afghan people. Derek, now a first lieutenant, looks forward to returning to Germany in May with the rest of his company.