Welcome to the premiere issue of GRIT GUIDE, a lifestyle magazine for the U.S. government contracting community. That's right, a magazine just for you.
As you may know, but I was surprised to find out, there are more than 700,000 contractors working around the globe on behalf of the U.S. government, wherever our military or State Department is located. You play vital, behind-the-scenes roles in some of the most important projects going on in the world today. Your mission is to support the military; our mission is to support you.
How will we do that? By providing not just some good reads and beautiful photographs to give you an escape from the daily grind — though we will certainly have those — but also expert advice to help you get more out of your life in a foreign land.
To that end, I'm extremely proud of what we've put together for our debut. In the following pages we tell you how to properly interact with Muslim women ("Keep Your Hands to Yourself," page 7), the safest dishes to order at restaurants in four different Middle East countries ("What to Eat in…," page 6), and where to go and what to do on your next R&R (check out what Kuwait has to offer in "Oasis of Peace," which begins on page 14).
On the more serious side, we offer advice from a U.S. Army social worker on dealing with stress ("5 Tips for Managing Stress," page 7) and a thorough report on what you should be doing with your money to avoid tax trouble and save for your retirement ("Money Ball," page 8). GRIT GUIDE will also report on news and job information that relates to the government contracting industry. Don't miss our cover story, beginning on page 10, about what the looming budget cuts in Washington could mean for you.
If you are wondering about our title, it was inspired by the contractors we know. Whether they are mechanics or managers or their expertise is in telecommunications or oil, all of them seem to share at least one personality trait: they have grit. They have what it takes to live and work 7,000 miles from home in an unpredictable and often dangerous environment.
Our goal going forward is to generate enough interest with this issue to produce four much thicker versions in 2012 and distribute them free to all passengers on Kuwait-based Gryphon Airlines as well as at many of the banks and hotels where you do business and stay. I'd like to offer a special thanks to the 300-plus Gryphon passengers who filled out our survey earlier this year — your answers became our editorial direction, and I hope you like the resulting product, which has been an honor and a pleasure to edit.
I welcome everyone's comments and suggestions, which can be sent to Jonathan@GritGuide.com. Tell me what you like about the magazine and what you don't, and I'll listen carefully. Remember, our mission is to support you.