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July 9, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Posted by Greyhawk / July 9, 2005 8:00 PM | Permalink
Every day, the MSM enjoys reporting casualty reports, terrorist uprisings and jihad progress with McNamara-like fever. However, the good work remains unreported. I realize that this is not a new topic for the blogosphere, but it is certainly one wort... Read More
I am considering being a part of the 2005 Blogathon being held on August 6, 2005. To that end I am looking for suggestions for a charity to support. I am asking you to add your suggestions to the comments. Some charities I am considering: The Freedo... Read More
Dear France, You probably don't remember me but we met at a party a number of years ago. I still recall the tone of your voice and the way you looked me up and down before pronouncing my outfit quaint. Read More
As speculation and high drama swirls around a possible second vacancy on the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats reasserted demands that President Bush stay away from so-called "extreme right-wing" conservative nominees. "If he is true to his promise, he... Read More
Today is the 6th month landmark for Stop The ACLU. Jay started his Blogger hosted blog on February 9th of this year. I think that you would all agree that it has been a beacon of truth for America. Even though this site is brand new he has been bl... Read More
The Republicans would consider it nothing short of brilliant, as it would eliminate her from running against them for President. After the 2008 election, the vast right wing conspiracy would get her impeached and thrown off the court. Read More
By now most of you have heard that one of the four missing Navy SEAL's has been recovered after evading the enemy. Unfortunately, another two have been found KIA. The thoughts of The Opinionator and his family go out to Read More
Although a rocket attack cut his time short on his first deployment, an Airman from the 64th Combat Search and Rescue helicopter maintenance unit pledged to himself that he'd endure whatever pain was necessary to get back in the fight. Read More
I comment a lot on music, sometimes pretty harshly. I am not above offerring my own work up for critique, so here is a tune I wrote yesterday: (*Note*: This is just barely demo quality. You'll hear some mistakes. I did everything in one take with th... Read More
Holy Toledo, what is happening to this world? The Eurocrates are tougher on illegals than we are. Shouldn't this be awake a wake up call for our politicians. On Feb 9 2005, Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) introduced H.R. 698, the Citizenship Reform Act of... Read More
I've received some very good questions by email and as comments on the SA blogs, and I thought I'd share some of them here, along with the answers. I realize that simply giving you a link to write or send a carepackage to our troops is not enough. It's... Read More
"We're taking steps to protect the mission staff???" That's fine. In fact, that is to be expected. It was the rest of the statement that we're all waiting for. How about, "We, as Muslims, are sick and tired of you TERRORIST pieces of human debris mak... Read More
The Associated Press is now reporting a claim by the Taliban that the missing member of the 4-man SEAL team was captured and beheaded. Read More
A second Canadian member of parliament has been punished by the Church for supporting same-sex marriage. Is there a plan here? Read More
The war against terror is as much a spiritual one as it is a physical one. The war we fight is on many fronts. We fight in the dessert, and against organizations right here in America that try to take away our religious liberty. We also fight within ... Read More
If you are familiar with Kelly from The Patriette, here are a few pictures from the wedding reception from Saturday night. Read More
Operational Security (OPSEC). Important stuff for the Cold War, and even today. PatriotVoices has a great post on the topic, taking us back to another time (at least for us older ones who had to face the "Evil Empire" while wearing a uniform. I con... Read More
Today's winner a 24-year-old Minnesota man named Willie Nelson. Earlier this week he tried to burglarize a Minneapolis store. Instead he fell through the roof. May I suggest a new line of work Mr. Nelson? As soon as you get out of jail that is. Read More
It doesn't happen often that you know about it, but this time there's proof: the government is purposely supressing the facts about something extremely critical to your lives. So shocking is the story that it would have ramifications for our entire N... 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