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July 24, 2005
[Note - I'm blogging from Northern Virginia after a late flight yesterday and a long day with the 'rental units today, so bear with the 'net connection, please] In a statement sure to be snapped up and shouted from those... Read More
bRight & Early is SupportingFreedom Alliance in Blogathon 2005Register and Donate Let’s start with the basic story, reported by Patrick Quinn of AP. “Police identified the man who was chased down in a subway and shot to death by plai... Read More
I support free speech in all ways, shapes and forms that I can think of. Even when I vehemently disagree with someone, I support their right to say what they think. But this act is beyond the pale. Not only... Read More
While we were absorbed with the London bombings last week, something significant happened that was far more important. The Chinese have finally started down the path of revaluing the Yuan (pegged to the dollar) and put in a process by Read More
First, I think sometime during the 70s, the FCC dropped its requirement that all commercial radio operators must hold a third-class radiotelephone license. Then during the 80s, I think, the FCC completely discontinued the use of the first- and second-c... Read More
Goes to Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll who felt the funeral of a fallen Marine was the place to make a unannounced campaign stop. To top it off the Lt. Governor felt it necessary to tell a family member of the 'govt is opposed to the w... Read More
John Roberts is still very much on the job, serving in his capacity as D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge even this week, despite his momentous nomination to the Supreme Court. In one decision, U.S. v. Tarry M. Jackson... Read More
A London Times op-ed writer calls the London police shooting of an apparent innocent a “tragedy” and “a small victory for the men who love death” After describing how the shooting came about, she reminds us of our enemy, s... Read More
New York City isn’t standing still in the wake of the two recent bombings on London’s Underground. The NYPD introduced a new policy of random searches of bags and packages on New York’s subway, buses and commuter rail lines Read More
it was a little strange, if I do say so. Quirky in a way that suites me. I was at a loss to label its genre. I talked to a creative writing professor, and they told me it sounded like it was of the "literary" genre. I thought he was joking. Read More
why we are fighting?In October of 2002, after hearing all the nay-sayers whining about going to war to fight against terrorism, (and to protect our interests and defend our allies) I wondered; how exactly do we defend and maintain our freedom then? If ... Read More
Prof. Hawking offers his insight and wisdom on physics and life every Friday on Point Five. Read More
From the " Sometimes A Comment Warrants It's Own Post Department", this from Independent Sources: Read More
It’s true, deployments will make a strong relationship, stronger and shatter the weak ones. LA Times just published a pretty good article about relationships and deployment and the rise in divorce rates (hat tip to T Bone, nice blog by the way)... Read More
"This AP dispatch takes the cake: Title - In Saddam's Birthplace, Fond Memories of Uday and Qusay "Awjah, Iraq (AFP) - Villagers of the town where former dictator Saddam Hussein was born said they retain fond memories of his slain sons Uday an... Read More
I don't understand how these politicians can be so clueless. What does it take for them to understand it isn't comforting for a military family to hear about that politician or government being against the war in Iraq. Read More
This TWIT is at it again. As if Jane (The Traitor) Fonda's actions in Vietnam were not bad enough (Everyone remember her fake apology?) she is starting it again. She is planning an Anti-War bus tour in a bus fueled by, get this, vegetable oil. Oh ... 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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