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May 12, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
New to Mudville? The Open Post is a chance for other bloggers to provide a link to their sites, or for anyone to sound off in the comments about any topic they'd like. Any blogger (milblogger or otherwise) who links this post will have a link back to their site added to a list below - if you're reading this immediately after I've posted it there won't be any, but check back later and you'll see. Visit a few and you'll likely find something of interest, and discover something of the scope of the blogosphere. There's an open post here every day.
Since I'm explaining things about the site, I should also introduce you to the Dawn Patrol. Since we live in Europe, in a time zone 6 hours ahead of the US East Coast, the Mrs has time to round up the overnight news stories and presents them here each "morning". Scroll down through the site and you'll see several examples. Join us for coffee tomorrow if you've got the time.
Posted by Greyhawk / May 12, 2005 7:47 PM | Permalink
Arthur Chrenkoff recognizes the Serenity Prayer as the basis for President Bush's strategic foreign policy decisions about what challenges to confront, and which realities to accept. Read More
Canadian researchers, who late last week released a study that showed beautiful children recieve better care from their parents than ugly ones, today announced a practical solution to this heretofore unknown crisis... Read More
The Kos-Kooks have suddenly come out in favor of religion in politics. They report favorably on the display of a billboard that says Jesus Cares for the Poor, so do We -- Democrats make America Stronger We wonder if those hypocritical THEOCRATS! e... Read More
Brian Noggle points to one of the most ridiculous cases of bad governance ever: a pit bull genocide. Read More
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recalling how her father took up arms to defend fellow blacks from racist whites in the segregated South, said Wednesday the constitutional right of Americans to own guns is as important as their rights to free spee... Read More
Three important shifts are taking place in Iraq, only one of which is getting much newspaper attention. That's too bad, since it's the other two changes that will soon fix the shape of future Iraq. The news articles to watch... Read More
Citizen Smash has a first-hand account of a rally to honor shirkers and quitters. The Posse deeply respects anyone who can go to such an assemply and not completely lose self-control. Read More
Tell me what other job gets that kind of scrutiny and affects the opinions of other people so strongly. I'm sure there are some, but not many. And it's not what our servicemen and women thought they would have to do when they originally enlisted. Read More
I apologize for this sounding like a rip on cops to start with, I really do value their work, but professionally I have issues, I also have plenty of my own faults. Read More
I recently found a blog where a young service man seemed to not be liking his time in. I understand the service life in not for everyone. I have come to dislike those who don't like it, yet from their perspective, the system needs to change to suit t... Read More
Things took another turn for the creepy in the case of embattled pop superstar Michael Jackson when it was revealed during testimony yesterday that the erstwhile Read More
[Vol. 1: Number 12 — A Continuing Blog Series] My Mom saved all the letters that my Dad wrote to her while he was away at college and then also during his service in the Navy from summer 1942 until the war ended in 1945. There are over 400 letter... Read More
">"A year and a half after he was taken, his inert body was seen on television screens around the world, hanging by the neck. It was to be more than two years later -- December 1991 - that his remains were dumped on a Beirut street, to be buried with... Read More
This is an exchange between Alan Colmes and Neal Horsley on Alan's Radio show. Horsley is what left wing media describe as an anti abortionist but ummmm...... he appears to be more than that. For all of us in the state of georgia the following transcript Read More
Acinom the Intern lends his expertise on an issue I'm not very familiar with: Had a interesting discussion with a friend of mine concerning a CNN article she read about the EPA placing some 34 closed U.S. military bases on... 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