As the upheaval of a chaotic week seemed as though it was about to simmer down, ModState executive editor Jonathan D. DeViney opted to introduce three new members of the editorial staff. Each of them, albeit in different ways, represents a healthy divergence from the norm for the media outlet.
The first addition to the online magazine’s personnel came by way of former Army infantry medic Albin Eldeen. DeViney, a former infantry corpsman (Navy for “medic”), and Eldeen served together in Bethesda, Maryland. There they provided patient care (in DeViney’s case initially) and managed personnel and supplies (Eldeen) at the massive joint-service military medical facility known as “The President’s Hospital” due to it being where the POTUS and his family are treated. Their arrangements would later evolve as Eldeen took to acting as a de facto mentor to DeViney (a rarity considering the long-standing rivalry between their two branches of service) and soon considered him someone who could do patient care for veterans, Wounded Warriors and dependent family members as well as supervise personnel, order supplies, repair equipment.
“I gotta say it’s funny now,” Eldeen said with a laugh. “Because before, y’know, you worked for me in a very different setting. Now it’s more along the lines of…you’re the boss.” The California native seemed more than at peace with the arrangement.
“I’d rather function as more of a general manager here and view everyone as working with me,” responded DeViney, undoubtedly a reflection of the deep friendship the two developed during a grueling period of service during the Congressionally-forced merger of the flagship medical facilities of the Army and Navy in 2011 when both men had just arrived at their respective places of duty.
“Like I said, like I told his mother on several occasions, he’s seriously like my little brother,” the thirty-five year-old Eldeen said of the thirty-one year-old DeViney. An experienced writer, this is Eldeen’s first-ever editorial post. He assumes the title of “ancillary contributor,” with a peripheral role of “quality control analysis,” ensuring via his trademark brutal honesty and relentless nature that the upper echelon of ModState staffers stand by the editorial policy and style guide they penned to govern the overall framework and literary product of the online magazine.
In his next unorthodox move, the executive editor introduced another member, one Byron Warfield, who would not only hail ModState as his first stint at any form of media outlet but would go on to make his editorial debut almost immediately. With the inaugural episode of his column, “Blind Consent,” the Knoxville, Tennessee native painted a stark picture of the potential aftermath of the current POTUS election cycle.
“I deliberately withheld the fact that this was his editorial debut,” DeViney admitted, “that, outside of college assignments and writing for his own pleasure and song lyrics, he’d never actually thought of himself as a writer and so he just…hadn’t tried. I had been around him long enough when we were having jam sessions to old blues standards and Elton John sheet music that I knew he’s a highly-intelligent guy, and he’d offered commentary on numerous occasions to stories we ran at GamePartisan. So, yeah, some people might’ve seen it as a leap of sorts, but I didn’t. And, in the end, I’d love to be in on the discussion where someone tries to say my faith wasn’t justified. Because it was.” Warfield will function as an ancillary contributor with further episodes of “Blind Consent” and via analysis and coordination of the ModState Caucus.
Last but not least came the signing of a new senior editor, one Joshua Stroman. With an extensive educational background, including Stanford University (business) and Harvard University (Divinity), Stroman self-styles himself as “unbought and unbossed” as a writer, activist and “open-democracy” evangelist.
From Washington, D.C. and hailing from Oakland, California, “the addition of Mr. Stroman to the staff,” DeViney offered, “is a coup. While I’ve been waxing eloquent, relentlessly in fact, about wanting as even a split in terms of represented ideologies on the editorial staff as possible, we still needed that…presence, y’know, that isn’t necessarily any more left of center than a couple of others on staff, including myself, nor is he a radical, but just a charismatic, glib character that, for all he has accomplished and experienced and…done, for all of that, he’s an incredibly humble guy which just, in the end, is somebody you can’t help but cheer for. So, needless to say, I’m beyond thrilled that Mr. Stroman’s decided to throw in his lot with us and that he agreed to be somebody to challenge me and keep the whole dream alive and maintain that honest vision it was imbued with upon its conception and subsequent creation here.”
Stroman will not only be operating as a senior editor but will also be the force behind analytics and the processing and application of that information as well as playing a massive role in the acquisition, placement and stated roles of personnel in the future.
“I see no reason why, in the short term, this man won’t be a catalyst behind the name ModState starting to circulate through a broader echelon of people,” DeViney concluded. “In the long run, he’ll be a part of why, even before we go print, people associate us with tremendous levels of talent, stringent honor and inability to compromise principles, hopefully financial success and heavy presence in the future where the action is, and lastly, but of great importance: humility. It really is key that we keep that in the back of our minds when and if our underdog, Swashbuckling enterprise sees the brutal length of days, the ungodly hours and single-minded focus ever pays off. Regardless, having Mr. Stroman around is one of those things that will make me glad I was involved with ModState one way or another.”