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June 28, 2004
Freedom WeekBy Greyhawk
It's Freedom Week in Mudville.
The transfer of power has occurred in Iraq. June 30? Looks like Bush lied.
Want to thank those individuals who made it possible, at great cost to themselves? Soldier's Angels has details on how you can send a few morale-boosting items to the wounded in the hospital at Landstuhl, Germany.
And this week, as we mark the beginning of independence for Iraq and the anniversary of independence in America seems a fine opportunity to do so.
A couple quick notes from someone with first-hand experience with military mail:
The direct mailing address for Chaplain Young at Landstuhl is a military APO. Postage for sending items to him will be about the same as for shipping to New York. The US Post Office gets the package that far, the military takes over after that. So the cost is fairly low for sending something to Europe.
That said, I'd highly advise any one considering such a direct contribution to send via Priority Mail - cost is only slightly higher, and the transit time will be a few days, as opposed to several weeks for "regular" mail.
Obviously perishables should not be sent. And other rules and regulations govern what can and can't be shipped. And if you send a package you'll need to fill out a brief customs form. These are really minor inconveniences - the whole process isn't much more difficult than sending gifts to grandma at Christmas (less so - the lines aren't long now).
But you may prefer to send a donation to Soldiers Angels, who have gotten pretty good at getting what's needed to where it's needed in minimum time. (Yes, they've got a paypal link.)
It's Freedom Week in Mudville, and wherever you are I hope you're celebrating freedom this week too. And whatever method you choose, please consider contributing something to the folks who made it possible.
Update (An e-mail suggestion to clarify): The wounded at Landstuhl are from Iraq and Afghanistan. They are shipped there after emergency treatment at their forward locations.
Posted by Greyhawk / June 28, 2004 3:35 PM | Permalink
Greyhawk recently sent this email: Greetings, June 30 and July 4th approach, and as many of us enjoy cookouts with family in the backyard, it might be a good time to remind everyone of those who sacrificed much and Read More
...Greyhawk urges celebrations, and surely they are deserved. Iraq's security may not be assured yet, but honestly, neither is ours--and it never will be. The naysayers who point to the need for security in order to celebrate "true" liberty in Iraq f... Read More
Go here. Then go here. Donate, if you can. These men and women are hurting, and they were wounded in a war that left and right may argue over - but both sides should put aside partisanship to help these... 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.
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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