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March 30, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
My Blog is your Blog. Exercise free speech here. Link and comment, if not, certainly check out those who do. I've found so many great blogs that way...
Posted by Greyhawk / March 30, 2005 10:11 PM | Permalink
We'all down here in Raleigh don't make the news that much and I imagine this may not make the national headlines anywhere but at least the blogs will pick it up. Read More
That's where we are now regarding the courts in this country. The judiciary holding the other two branches of government, the states, and the people when acting by referendum, in open contempt. Read More
I'm not going to fall behind, goddammit! Not even crappy blogger.com servers will hold me back! So here goes. First, the big man linked to this lovely WaPo peace about how text messaging and other technology has allowed resistance movements in p... Read More
George McGovern wrote an article entitled “Patriotism is Nonpartisan” in the current issue of Nation magazine. In it McGovern says, “There is a notion abroad in American politics, carefully crafted by its proponents, that is ... Read More
The Washington Post editors and reporters got an exclusive interview with Condoleezza Rice that was printed on Page 1 Saturday, March 26, with the headline: Rice Describes Plans To Spread Democracy: Elections in Egypt Among Priorities. Washington's big... Read More
Robin Burk (Winds Of Change.NET & Random Probabilities) will lead the discussion on Milblogging. Robin has put up a post soliciting discussion "about milblogging – its impact, value and how it has (or could) change the way the mainstream media ... Read More
We have had several posts about SFC Paul Smith in the past. The White House announced today that President George W. Bush will honor Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith on the second anniversary of his courageous actions during the Battle of Baghdad Airport... Read More
I heard about Fisher House while watching C-SPAN this evening. That channel is airing interviews of injured military members and tonight I watched the interview of MAJ Duckworth, an Army helicopter pilot from the Illinois Army National Guard. She was s... Read More
Those who see the Bush Administration in caricature form, as always looking for the next country to invade, won't know what to do with this story. U.S. funds helped opposition stage the revolt in Kyrgyzstan:Shortly before Kyrgyzstan's recent parliament... Read More
Red2Alpha has a posting which covers a wide range of emotions. He even has a funny posting about Boomers. Read More
When I first read about the report being posted by Operation Truth on the veteran's take on the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, I was hopeful and eager to read it. It promised to address both the good and the bad in the execution of the war and I think ... Read More
“Zac and Class” ask the following questions: How do you feel about being there? Did you go there willingly or would you prefer to be in the USA right now? How do you feel about the fact that the war has fallen in the back ground? send soo... Read More
As the Final Four approaches, the staff from The Nose On Your Face remain away at our retreat. We have been working diligently at coming up with better ways to bring you the most cutting edge fake news possible and Read More
Time for a RANT! This is one of my old favorite rants... I say it to anyone who is foolish enough to be PC and tell me that every person who lives on the American continents is ‘American’. The first... 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.
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