Greetings! You are reading an article from The Mudville Gazette. To reach the front page, with all the latest news and views, click the logo above or "main" below. Thanks for stopping by!
June 27, 2005
Chuck Up-DateBy Mrs Greyhawk
Dawn Patrol will be a little late this morning. I've been busy visiting a certain soldier.
Before you can visit a soldier you have to know their name and their birthday. At least that was what I was told. I of course knew his name but didn't have a clue what his birthdate was, but I thought I'd try anyway. I got to ICU and asked where Chuck Ziegenfuss was. Immediately, I had three people say Who are you. "I'm a friend, Mrs Greyhawk". A man passing out quilts to our wounded, was one of the three people, he says, "he's over here". The other two people were women, nurses I presume and were a little more thourough. One of them asks Chuck about me and she says "he doesn't know who you are." I'm humbled quickly, not that I think everyone knows who I am, but I thought and hoped one of my Ring members would. Now I was worried they weren't going to let me see him, then the other woman who was his nurse, and a damn fine nurse according to him, waved me in, and said come on in.
I introduced myself and then said "from Mudville". He looked at me in a quizzedly manner. Now I'm thinking, shit! he doesn't read Mudville, of course he doesn't read Mudville, he's been too damn busy fighting a war. But he relieved me of my stress when he said " OH, the Mudville Gazette". Then I asked the stupidest question, " How you doin, Chuck? " He says, "well I lost my left pinky and my ..., how are you?" Needless to say I was at a loss for words and thought, is he being his humorous self or is he serious? I'll leave that for him to blog about one way or another.
I proceeded to tell him that he has quite a following now. He said his wife, Carren told him that there were hundreds, even thousands of supporters. I informed him who all had linked him and that visits were in the tens of thousands. He was quite surprised and happy to hear that.
He remembers quite a bit of what happened. As he told me all the details which I'll leave for him to blog about I realized I was standing in front of a true hero, however I held back calling him the Hero I knew him to be because my gut feeling told me he would reject the label. Instead I just help him with a sip of water.
Something he did ask me to blog about was CPT Jason Spencer, Chuck's XO. Because Chuck was wearing heavy Kevlar armor, he went bottoms up in the canal, and was drowning, Jason dove into the canal to save him, only to find himself in the same predicament as Chuck and almost drowning himself, but he managed to muscle himself upward to then help pull Chuck ashore. This man is a hero and Chuck wanted me to spread the word on this.
The gurney arrived to transfer him to Walter Reed Medical, that was my cue that it was time for me to leave. He asked me if I had a camera, which unfortunately mine was dead, so the answer was "no". He wanted me to take his picture Note to self: always have camera charged. I did however, have for him a copy of "Heart of a Soldier", a book about a hero Rick Rescorla, autographed by Mrs Rescorla. Chuck was familiar with his story.
How did he look?, you may wonder. He was in good spirits. He has a black eye. His face is scraped pretty good, but nothing a bag over the head couldn't cure, I told him in jest. He had some difficulty in hearing me, which I hope isn't permanent. He said he will need some skin graft on his legs and probably more work on his left arm. Both arms were in a cast up to his shoulders. His thumb is still up in the air (no pun intended). It looked pink to me so I know that's a good sign, but time will tell and I'm sure Chuck will when he's able to blog again. I told him a pencil between the teeth might work but He said he wasn't sure what to blog about now. I asked, "how about the healing process?" There are many that would like to know your progress. I got the feeling that, as much as he wanted to go home to his family, he was somewhat wanting to be back with his men. But if any of you have read his blog that should not suprise you.
He seemed in good hands, the hospital was very nice and his nurse was looking out for him and making sure his needs were met. He had a quilt to keep him warm while he traveled and has a family waiting for him when he arrives at Walter Reed Army Medical center.
I do hope he continues to blog whether it's about the war, or about healing or about life in general, he has a talent that should not be wasted.
In the meantime, Carren seems to be able to blog rather well. Here's her latest update on Chuck.
Posted by Mrs Greyhawk / June 27, 2005 6:54 AM | Permalink
Mrs. Greyhawk has an update on Chuck as she went to visit him in the hospital in Landstuhl. You can also read an update on Chuck from his wife Carren here - Walter Reed, Her We Come!. Both posts are a MUST READ. I did want to mention something else... Read More
CARREN ZIEGENFUSS writes: I got to talk to My Hero tonight!!! He was loopy as all get out, which made the conversation rather interesting. He was in good spirits, all things considered. We made small talk for a few minutes,... Read More
Been a good week in the news, but here's my feeble attempt to find some stories that aren't on every blog. The currently underway Yankee Sailor's Daily Reading Boards get us started with two items. First, sounding eerily similar to the beginning o... Read More
For those who haven't heard, deployed Milblogger Chuck ("From My Position...On the Way") was injured by an IED and flown to Germany. His wife has been posting in his stead and she has an update on his condition posted. While your there, drop a line t... Read More
An interesting development, if true. An explosive story consisting of anonymous sources mus be taken with a grain of salt. It seems the sources for the Sunday Times regarding the negotation meetings are the insurgents themselves. Read More
Apparently there's a story out in Blog Land that Chuck actually picked up the IED that sent him into the canal. Read More
Chuck...... what a cutie. For a guy who has both of his arms and hands restricted he certainly is keeping his sense of humor. Of course Chuck's sense of humor is distorted like ours and that's why he's our babe. Read More
Greyhawk has a clarification and update about injured Milblogger Chuck Ziegenfuss. He also has some details about how Chuck's XO, CPT Jason Spencer, pulled him out of a canal while he was drowning. Three cheers for CPT Spencer! Good Lookin' 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.
I like having visitors to my house. I hope you are entertained. I fight for your right to free speech, and am thrilled when you exercise said rights here. Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1)the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2)the property of the Mudville Gazette, with free use granted thereto for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
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