RAV: Rob Ballew

U.S. Army soldier and Newsvine correspondent, Rob Ballew.

Ballew preparing to head out on a mission.

Newsvine hereby recognizes the excellent contributions by U.S. Army soldier Rob Ballew, from the front lines of Iraq. Not only is Rob putting his life on the line for his country and for the Iraqi people day in and day out, he has also used his Newsvine column to document his experiences in Iraq. Ballew has consistently provided a refreshing view of life from a soldier's point of view, unfiltered and straight up. An Iraqi Freedom Vet and a National Guardsman, Rob puts his money where his mouth is by choosing to serve a second tour in Iraq when offered the choice to stay home and to watch the war from his living room. His dedication and service reflects that of thousands of other soldiers currently deployed to the Middle East - yet Rob has also taken the time to candidly write to the Newsvine community about his experiences as a soldier. Conflicted and sometimes even regretful, always courageous, humble, optimistic and steadfast - Rob shows us the human side of the conflict that is never captured by statistics and analysis by people at arm's length from the battlefield.

We look forward to hearing more reports from Rob Ballew, and the Newsvine Team hopes for his continued good health and safety. Congratulations, Rob - for receiving Newsvine's highest distinction, the Random Act of Vineness award.

We would also like to thank Jim Dent and the other Newsviners who made Rob's continuing reports from Iraq possible by chipping in and working together to purchase and deliver a laptop computer to our guy on the front lines. Only a Community like ours could pull something like this off. Hats off to all of you.

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Congrats, Rob. I received many, many, many nominations. :)

  • 33 votes
Reply#1 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 11:53 AM EST

Way to go Rob ! Congratulation on the RAV, you deserve it. Good luck and wish you the best !

  • 19 votes
#1.1 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 11:57 AM EST

That was well written Calvin.

  • 20 votes
#1.2 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 1:11 PM EST

This rocks, and is most appropriate. Now let's get him back here so he can enjoy it.


  • 13 votes
#1.3 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 3:04 PM EST

This is what the vine is all about, the reason I love it here, because we are all free to be what we want to be, contribute what we want to contribute and be a sort of "virtual family"

Rob's contribution here is amazing and his insight and forthright nature only makes his work even more valuable to those of us at home.

He is a great friend and I am so proud of him, words cannot even express my excitement... which as most of you know is not something that happens often!

Thanks Calvin and the Newsvine staff for recognizing his contribution.


  • 11 votes
#1.4 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 7:06 PM EST

Congratulations, Rob - for receiving Newsvine's highest distinction, the Random Act of Vineness award.

I whole-heartedly agree!

Way to go Rob!

  • 14 votes
Reply#2 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:01 PM EST

Congrats Rob! And thank you for your service.

  • 13 votes
Reply#3 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:02 PM EST


  • 14 votes
Reply#4 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:05 PM EST

(Oooops, pardon the language, I lost control.)

  • 13 votes
Reply#6 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:06 PM EST

Rob Ballew, Congratulations.

You deserve this award.

I also want to personally thank for your service to our country at great personal risk. I wish you all the best and a sefe return to your family.

  • 15 votes
Reply#7 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:08 PM EST

Congratulations, Rob.

  • 14 votes
Reply#8 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:09 PM EST


I've said it before and I'll say it again ... I'm in awe of guys like you that put their lives on the line to preserve our way of life.

Thanks and congratulations!

  • 17 votes
Reply#9 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:11 PM EST

Good one.

  • 15 votes
Reply#10 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:12 PM EST

Congrats dude!

  • 13 votes
Reply#11 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:20 PM EST

Well deserved. Stay safe.

  • 16 votes
Reply#12 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:23 PM EST

Kudos and congrats, Rob! Very well deserved and (of course) stay safe!

  • 14 votes
Reply#13 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:33 PM EST

You are the man, Rob! Thanks for being among us.

  • 13 votes
Reply#14 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:34 PM EST

Make sure you come home safe and collect your RAV in person. Keep on writing!

  • 13 votes
Reply#15 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:36 PM EST

Good on ya Rob. Stay safe.

  • 12 votes
Reply#16 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:41 PM EST

Congrats Rob and thank you for your commitment to keeping everyone informed and up-to-date. Guys like you represent the best in all of us. Stay safe.

  • 13 votes
Reply#17 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:42 PM EST

Congratulations Rob.

  • 13 votes
Reply#18 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:44 PM EST

To Calvin and to all of newsvine thank you so much for all you have given me. First off thanks to Jim Dent, and all those who chipped in to get me a chance to write, comment, and seed more from here as well as help me get in touch easier with people back home.

Next I would like to thank the newsvine staff as well as all my fellow viners for giving me a forum to write about things I feel are important. You truly have no idea how important this is to me, and how much each and everyone of you have affected my life. And although I might disagree with you I always respect your opinion. So thanks to All Of Newsvine!!!!!!

Last but not least I want to thank all brothers and sisters who are currently serving all over the world or who have ever served. I am constantly amazed at the job we do. And although these things are never easy it is good to know there are people who will step up even in tough times like these. And also the families who carry the load while their loved one is in constant danger. Thanks to all!!!!

Thanks again newsvine, I am honored and humbled to receive this award.


  • 37 votes
Reply#19 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:47 PM EST

I guess an honorable mention beats a swift kick in the ass...
Seriously... congrats Rob. You earned it, you deserve it, enjoy it!!!

And keep your ass down...

  • 16 votes
#19.1 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 9:09 PM EST

What a wonderful sentiment, Jim, which I am sure is echoed by all of us, and beautifully put. Thanks. ;o)

  • 9 votes
#19.2 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 9:16 PM EST

Jim you rock too and we all know it... you're a true friend.

  • 8 votes
#19.3 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 11:08 PM EST

Well done Rob! Keep safe!

  • 10 votes
Reply#20 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:51 PM EST

There is no question Rob, you have deserved it for a long time ! Glad that you got it and we are all proud of you. You are a great guy !

  • 12 votes
Reply#21 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:52 PM EST

Once again, WELL DONE, Rob! Definitely deserved and good luck for a very safe and awesome future.

Lots of HUGGGGSSS. :o)

  • 13 votes
Reply#22 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 1:04 PM EST

Rob - I've said this before and I will say it again and again - Newsvine is a BETTER place because you are in it. Congrats! LISA

  • 12 votes
Reply#23 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 1:34 PM EST

More than well-deserved, Rob! And thank you for the updates and your service.

  • 10 votes
Reply#25 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 1:41 PM EST

newsvine in iraq
heartfelt stories from the front
rob makes us smarter

congratulations man - and a prayer for peace even in the midst of war

  • 12 votes
Reply#26 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 2:02 PM EST

Congratulations, Rob. You certainly deserve it, both for your contributions to the community, and your your contributions to the U.S. and Iraq.

  • 10 votes
Reply#27 - Fri Dec 7, 2007 2:11 PM EST
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