Michael Baumgartner just ended a 13-month tour in Iraq as the deputy director of economics in the Office of Joint Strategic Planning and Assessment under U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
Michael's parents are Dee Baumgartner, a long time kindergarten teacher at Franklin Elementary, and Dave Baumgartner, a WSU Extension Service forester.
He visits a couple of times a year, especially to see the WSU Cougars play basketball.
There is a great column in the Boston Globe about Michael. This is my favorite quote from him:
Refighting the 2003 political battles does little to address the essential questions surrounding how we now get Iraq far enough down the path to stability so that we can withdraw. The 2003 issues are largely a distraction and have little to do with what our all-volunteer military and civilian force is doing to try and bring the Iraqi people peace.Amen. Thanks for your service, Michael, and the truth.