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March 10, 2005
You Could Be a StarBy Greyhawk
Someone's making a show about America's real idols! In the email, from one the show's producers:
LOOKING FOR EXTRAORDINARY HOMECOMING STORIES A TLC show is looking for stories of military personnel who will be going home between now early May. We are looking to film compelling and unique reunions back in the USA with families, friends, or fellow platoon friends sent home early for medical reasons. The show is not about politics or the atrocities of war. It's a positive documentary show that hopes to evoke smiles, tears and empathy from the American audience. We are really looking for AMAZING stories. We have already shot a few including: a father who has never met his newborn child; a family that left up the Christmas tree until the whole family could celebrate together. We are now looking for more AMAZING UNIQUE stories. Please get in touch if you are about to head home and would like to be part of the project or let me know if you know of someone else's story. Contact: (Meri) email@example.com
She also adds these details:
The Learning Channel (TLC) is scheduled to premiere "Operation Homecoming" on Memorial Day. We are working alongside Terry Mitchell from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Public Affairs Officers of the Armed Forces. "Operation Homecoming" personalizes our Soldiers' emotional homecomings and celebrates their individual stories of strength, courage, anticipation, and finally, reunion. The show begins with a brief introduction to our returning soldier, through the eyes of his/her loved ones with interviews, photos and home video. The pace quickly marches forward with the extraordinary anticipation that the soldier's family members feel right before a husband, father, daughter, son, wife or mother return home from an (average) year of active duty. The soldier is met and escorted home by our crew, and we hear for the first time his/her eager and grateful anticipation. Each hour will showcase three homecomings, with the reunions at home, between the soldier and his/her family. In each hour we will try and have a strand that links the stories: whether it's a special hour with soldiers who are meeting their children for the first time; mothers returning home; or soldiers who are coming home on a surprise timetable. I know that the schedules change often and are quite unpredictable - for that reason our production schedule is quite short so that we're ready to go when we get notice of an arrival. So any early leads and as many stories you can help us find as soon as possible - all the better! We really want to do the best we can for our returning soldiers and make these homecomings as memorable for them as we can. We are filming at present and will be continuing through early May.
Sounds awesome - I'll see what I can do ma'am. (Heh - we left the Christmas tree up at haus Greyhawk this year too. Took it down just a couple weeks ago.)
Here's the email again: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Greyhawk / March 10, 2005 10:43 PM | Permalink
LOOKING FOR EXTRAORDINARY HOMECOMING STORIES A TLC show is looking for stories of military personnel who will be going home between now early May. We are looking to film compelling and unique reunions back in the USA with families, friends,... Read More
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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.
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