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May 22, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Posted by Greyhawk / May 22, 2005 6:39 PM | Permalink
An online poll today on the website for the MSNBC show "Connected Coast to Coast"asked: Should military recruiters be allowed on high school campuses? * 617 responses Yes - 30% No - 70% We can't imagine this comes anywhere near reflect... Read More
Remember the Boston Tea Party!! This is a country founded on a boycott. . . From astute reader, "ESL":Pepsi basically sells sugar water. One sugar water is just as good as another. . . .I would think that Gatorade will... Read More
Galloway is still a swine and almost certainly culpable in the oil for food scandal. He is the Marion Barry of British politics, a low man whose supporters are so far out of touch they care not about his excesses he is their guy in the fight against th... Read More
In the later part of 1983, two of the ships of the UNITAS task force were detached to go on the West African Training Cruise (WATC). One ship was mine, USS CONOLLY (DD-979), where I was assigned as Engineer Officer. The other was the USS JESSE L BROW... Read More
As I'm prone to do, I was in Borders today, and, as usual, I browse the new book table. I found "Death Sentences" by Don Watson, an Australian writer. Read More
As May 21st is/was Armed Forces Day, some groups planned protests at recruiting offices around the country Read More
Today I stumbled across what must clearly have been a very dedicated effort in the form of Bill Whittle's Sanctuary essay. Bill is a fine writer, and his thoughts broad and deep on the struggle against Islamic Terrorists and Anti-Iraqi Forces, all cent... Read More
Just in case you carry Progressive Insurance you might want to rethink that policy. You premiums support radical left wing organizations and the communistic ACLU. Read More
Shocking documents have been revealed to TNOYF that show that former presidential candidate John Kerry did in fact have a plan regarding the Iraq War. And what a plan it was. In a TNOYF exclusive report we have discovered that Read More
No, it is not al-Qaeda backpack bombs, it is the next Internet virus Sober.P attack. This cyber time-bomb virus is replicating itself with precision at pre-programmed times across the world. Read More
The discussions around end strength for the Army have mostly been about recruiting and getting people to join. The Army has stated they are hitting "100%" of their reenlistment goals and that, combined with stop loss (Making reenlistment goals easy to ... Read More
Via the Armageddon Project, this post gets the freakshow rolling. He links to a video of an interview with Crook on Hannity and Colmes. If you enjoy watching a loser get his due, you will enjoy the video. Read More
The inimitable Joe Gandleman discusses the new Star Wars attendance record over at Dean' World, but I think he missed an important point. The headlines read 'Star Wars' Breaks Single-Day Sales Mark The Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith record should inclu... Read More
Yesterday the internet was down, so I took the time to go look at out shelf of cool stuff the people have sent us. A vast majority of it was good stuff, we got a couple of useless things (hence bad), and something that is plain disgusting 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...)
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