Evangel Profile

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.

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