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December 24, 2003
Operation BOB HOPEBy Greyhawk
UPDATE: Just because Christmas is over doesn't mean these folks don't deserve some holiday greetings! I'll continue to update, please help fill the "stockings"! Thanks!
Okay, he's no longer with us, so this holiday season you can be Bob Hope. Visit these GI's (and veterans and spouses) around the world and drop a bit of cheer into the stockings that are their comment sections. That includes you folks who read but have never commented on a blog before - I know you're out there. Wish good tidings to these folks, many of whom are far from home enabling your safe season.
I'll update this list routinely, with new entries at the top. Check back when you can for more. (And feel free to e-mail me with links to additional military bloggers).
Without further ado...
update 8: I almost forgot a fellow MilBlogger stationed in Germany. This young lady is an Air Force Airman, working for a living for God and country far from home and family. On Christmas. And she requests comments for her friend Greg, who isn't feeling the spirit. Careful though, she's a homicidal maniac.
update 7: Its always contrast.
And Jasminepetal waits, but uses her Christmas time to post great stuff. Do not miss the First Christmas entry.
But Baghdaddy has a great re-cap of the past year in Iraq, food for thought on if it was all worthwhile. Don't miss it.
But don't forget to leave season's greetings!
update 6: I'm not linking a specific post on Andi's blog because then you'd miss seeing what a great front page she has. She's another spouse with a deployed husband, but he's coming home soon. Just too late for Christmas. Can you spare a bit of cheer?
Thor, on the other hand, made it home on time to start a new household and be with his wife and son on his first Christmas. Cool.
And Doc Russia got home from the Marines a long while back, but has a Christmas story you don't want to miss.
update 5: Surely everyone's wished a merry Christmas and happy new year to Chief Wiggles by now? Actually, surprisingly few folks have, considering all the things that the Chief has done these past few months. Got time for a quick salutation to the Chief?
update 4: The last of my fellow "German" bloggers (60-odd years later we're still in das quagmire): Sarah at trying to Grok. Always great and thoughtful things to be found at Sarah's blog, visitors please report here and leave Christmas tidings.
update 3: Christmas presents, or "everytime a bell rings, a jumper gets his wings!"
Bejuspundit earned his wings. Then made it home for Christmas.
Update 3a: Working for a living...
Ed is deployed somewhere in Africa supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. And he's working Christmas so his troops won't have to.
He also linked to a poem at Blackfive's. The warrior-poet spirit is alive and well in the blogosphere.
Update 2: You do eventually get home. (At least, 99% do.)
DarthVOB is home, but he spent Christmas 1990 helping liberate Kuwait. Read his tale and you'll know why it couldn't have been done without him. Don't forget to tell him merry Christmas and thanks for the memories!
And speaking of getting home, the Fusilier Pundit has a multi-part story for you, of trying to get home for Christmas from OEF in '01. (That's Operation Enduring Freedom, friends. Remember Afghanistan?) Thank him for the story he lived, please, before you leave.
So there you go. A lesson for the deployed; you'll get there, and when you do home will be all the sweeter. So my fine Athiest Soldier, have faith! (And fine readers, please offer this young man some encouraging words!)
Update 1: These folks require a bit of extra effort on your parts. They have no comments sections and must be emailed (addresses on their sites). I think having their inboxes filled on Christmas morning would be great, 'cause they've all been nice not naughty.
Jason is in Iraq Now and got to jam a bit for a USO audience. A troop entertaining the troops! (Not unusual at all, believe me.) He's also been posting great ground truth for some time; a terrific counter to some other "sources" you're likely familiar with.
And here's an example of contrast:
Capt Patti is just-got-home-from-Baghdad with Tim (I suppose they think of Germany as home, for now at least). Chromedome is not home with his wonderful Mrs., but she's trying to smile. You'll see what I mean. Strong people. Please wish them all well. (Chromedomezone does have a guestbook here)
The first links:
John Galt is a veteran, now serving with the CPA in Iraq, and blogging at Deeds. Christmas related posts here. (and scroll on for more.)
And here's An Army Wife, living in Germany while her husband is deployed to Iraq. She's talking about missing Christmas with her folks here, but I'm sure she's missing lots more. Spread cheer!
Hook is spending Christmas in Hawaii with his family, but is readying to deploy. His Christmas post is here.
That's all for now, more to come!
Posted by Greyhawk / December 24, 2003 4:33 PM | Permalink
Greyhawk had a wonderful idea: Be the Bob Hope of the blogosphere. Visit blogging veterans to spread holiday greetings. There's a growing list here of links where you can go and leave comments on the blogs of soldiers. Great idea,... Read More
From Greyhawk: Okay, he’s no longer with us, so this holiday season you can be Bob Hope. Visit these GI’s... Read More
If you need to escape your family for a few minutes today, you could at least do something useful. Operation... Read More
A little poetry via the Paratrooper of Love: Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, a... Read More
Visit with our troops over Christmas and let them know how much you care. No, you don't have to jump... Read More
Update (12/28/03): As Greyhawk says, just because Christmas has passed doesn't mean that you can't still participate in Operation Bob Hope. Stop by, and send some more greetings to our our brave soldiers (and soldiers' spouses) for this holiday season. Read More
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
I like having visitors to my house. I hope you are entertained. I fight for your right to free speech, and am thrilled when you exercise said rights here. Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1)the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2)the property of the Mudville Gazette, with free use granted thereto for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2003 - 2011 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com