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July 5, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Posted by Greyhawk / July 5, 2005 9:09 PM | Permalink
When our staff returned from vacation, we learned that Osama bin Laden was back in the news. This caused us to wonder where he might actually be and what he might be doing right now. So, without further ado Read More
A recently published report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology on the behavior of occupants of the World Trade Center has significant implications for battlefield decision makers. Read More
I'm not picking on Andrew Sullivan here - really, I'm not. If it's Sullivan bashing you're looking for, this post won't soothe your need. But this: This is a critical moment for the president, a moment when he can reach... Read More
...the buzz in Washington is that President Bush may have already decided on a candidate. According to Point Five's highly placed source, Bush will soon nominate Fox News superstar Greta Van Susteren... Read More
And who said that the Sunnis would never be a part of the new Iraq? This one comes from the VOAFifteen Iraqi Sunni-Muslim members are preparing to join a Shi'ite-dominated parliamentary committee drafting a new constitution. It is hoped that Read More
Wow seven cents a share. Makes me want to immediately dig through seven year old financial records of mine so I can get a $7.00 check. See I don't have those shares any more, nor am I with the broker I used in 1998 to purchase them. Of course I coul... Read More
SMASH led me to Tom Elia's post on the usual rantings given by many on the left when it comes to Bush. I would never agree with those kind of silly comments, but something struck me about the speech by Read More
While there have been several additions to the blogroll recently (more on that later, after I get done making all of my additions), I wanted to highlight one blog in particular. Ghraib Danger is the blog of an Air Force JAG stationed at FOB Abu Ghrai... Read More
Regarding MSM use of anonymous sources, the Raleigh News & Observer public editor cautioned readers not to be "spooked" by "bloggers who love to hate" MSM. But growing public distrust of MSM source use is fact driven; not a product of blogger MSM hat... Read More
Today on the Huffin&Puffin Post, the unhinged Lawrence O’Donnell mischaracterized a statement by Karl Rove’s attorney about the Wilson-Plame kerfuffle. On Saturday, [Rove’s attorney] Luskin decided to reveal that Rove did hav... Read More
WHITLEY CITY, Ky. - It's one of the more conspicuous road signs on U.S. 27, a scenic route that meanders through the Daniel Boone National Forest on its way to a popular recreational area on Lake Cumberland. "WARNING. Jesus is coming. RU Ready?" Read More
Rantingprofs got me going on how the media botches the reporting of deaths of civilians during armed conflict. I think the media has an obligation to report when civilians are killed during a conflict, but they have an equal obligation to differentia... Read More
In January 1996, a young man from New Orleans enlisted in the Marine Corps without a high school diploma. Less than six years later he had a college degree and was a second lieutenant. He wasn't done. Read More
Many of you already know why, of course, but this post essay is in response to a couple of comments posted to an earlier post here. Take a moment to read them, if you like. And up to now I Read More
Americans, of late, have gone a bit wobbly on the mission in Iraq. After all, it has been two full years since the beginning of the ground invasion, and it is not yet a full and functioning democracy, with... Read More
Jack Kelly has written an excellent rundown of the situation in Iran that bullet-points what we face. The prospects are grim. The situation clear. Does anyone have the courage to recognize the signs for what they are? Even in a... Read More
Woohooo! W00t! I just have to say when I first saw this at Michelle Malkin's today I was overwhelmed with a sense of relief. With my son over in Iraq on his second tour, in a very depressed area outside of Baghdad, living in an underground bunke... Read More
The recent loss of the MH-47E in Afghanistan got me thinking about the challenges our men and women face every time they pull pitch in Afghanistan. Reading some of the blog comments on other sites that discussed the recent shoot-down made me realize ... Read More
A Russian astrologer sues NASA over Deep Impact Mission. She is concerned about the impact causes problems out in the universe.... Read More
For a little more than a week now, the Blogosphere and airwaves have been inundated with all things Kelo. While it is impressive to hear and see such an uproar regarding personal property rights, Kelo's much more sinister second cousin has been quiet... Read More
A week ago, in the opening days of the TigerHawk family California vacation, we visited Santa Monica. There I happened across "Arlington West," an anti-war demonstration that purports to honor the American soldiers who have died in Iraq. Arlington We... Read More
Michelle Malkin writes in Townhall's Opinion Alert of the furor which arose over a burned Koran recently found at the door of a mosque. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations issued an immediate press release on June 16 calling for... Read More
Thunder6 has written another great article: "I finally managed to pull out of the tailspin this morning – and oddly enough it was a comic strip from Gary Trudeau that did the trick." Read More
Starting with the September, 1972 “Munich Massacre” of Israeli Olympic athletes by members of Yasser Arafat’s Black September terrorists, and the March 1973 assasination of US Ambassador to Sudan, Cleo Noel, and other diplomats while at the Saudi em 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.
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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