texasmonthly.com: When did the idea to do a special issue on the Iraq war first come up?
Christopher Keyes: Ever since combat operation began in March of 2003, we’ve been looking for ways to cover the war. The main problem has always been that the war is really a national story more than it is a Texas story, and so the trick has been to identify story lines that allow us to offer a perspective that is uniquely Texan. Oftentimes, that’s just not possible. The lack of weapons of mass destruction, for example, is not a Texas story. Neither, really, was the capture of Saddam Hussein. But gradually, other stories began to emerge. Senior editor Michael Hall wrote about injured soldiers at Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio; writer-at-large Cecilia Ballí wrote about the death of Hector Perez, a soldier from Corpus Christi; senior editor Pamela Colloff wrote about life at Fort Hood, and associate editor Katy Vine wrote about Brandon Hughey, a kid from San Angelo who deserted to Canada. And as the war continued, we discovered that we had a large number of new war-related ideas coming in. We felt that putting them all together in the March issue, the third anniversary of the war, would have a lot of impact.
texasmonthly.com: The magazine has done many special issues in the past. How was this one different as far as