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May 26, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Light posting for us but not for all.
Posted by Greyhawk / May 26, 2005 8:58 PM | Permalink
This is a sermon from Rev. Charles Rush where he talks about his 20 year old Marine son serving in Afghanistan. He tells us about his R&R where his son is married (son's wife also serves and is deployed). It's a telling and emotional story but here i... Read More
Near the end of my 3 year "shore duty" (oh, yeah, that's the one where you're supposed to be home) tour, the people over at Naval Surface Forces, Atlantic (NAVSURFLANT) decided we also needed to do CSAs on the patrol hydrofoils. Read More
It is not common for me to be in robust agreement with a Washington Post editorial but it does happen and today was once. The subject was Amnesty International's sorry naming of Gitmo as the Gulag of our time. Read More
Nick over at The World According to Nick has this to say about the judicial filibuster debacle: My point is don't let all this crisis mumbo jumbo fool you. This is really about one party being pissed that they don't any power left. There is no const... Read More
As we prepare to observe Memorial Day I believe it also important to recognize the sacrifice made by those now serving now and their families. Please consider supporting the groups listed in the Support the Troops post. I am going... Read More
Below are several groups who work to support our military personnel. Please see if any of them are interesting to you and perhaps you would like to volunteer or contribute to them. Organizations: (listed alpha) Any Soldier - www.AnySoldier.com -Marty... Read More
At "Bench Memos," National Review Online's blog dedicated to the judicial confirmation issue, Ed Whelan gives a summary of the views of Justice Ruth Bader Ginburg, presented as a hypothetical to illustrate a point about how Republicans would handle the... Read More
Once you have generated enough public outcry against corrupt state politicians you can easily move on to the big fish in Washington, District of Corruption. Read More
Medical personnel across America are scrambling resources to combat a deadly outbreak of illness after The Drudge Report posted a headline today that claimed "Helen Thomas Rides White House Press Secretary". I mean it. Go. What the hell are you... Read More
IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 19, 2005 DoD Identifies Army Casualty The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Pfc. Sam W. Huff, 18, of Tucson, Ariz., died April 18 in Baghdad,... Read More
Explosive charges have been leveled today against radical Islamic groups that they have mishandled human beings. The charges include evidence that Islamic terrorists have beheaded journalists, aid workers, civilian contractors, intentionally blown ... Read More
If Operation Lightning is the success that I believe it will be, it will make a HUGE step in the long process of standing up the new government and the Police and Army. Read More
Before approving any bill, the legislators must personally read every sentence in the proposed law, and demonstrate that they have read with comprehension by passing a test on the material. Read More
But you would never know there is any good news because the MSM just refuses to broadcast or write about anything good that is being accomplished in Iraq. Reporting on something good that happened just wouldn't fit the MSM's agenda... Read More
This is priceless. Quote: In Related, Breaking News: The entire Death Row population at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana testified that "the food is terrible and I'm 110% innocent. I swear. Hey, you wouldn't happen to have a smok... 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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Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com