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August 14, 2005
Open PostBy Mrs Greyhawk
Posted by Mrs Greyhawk / August 14, 2005 8:58 PM | Permalink
For years, the American Civil Liberties Union (search) and other groups have fought to remove any trace of religion from government and public life, and for years they’ve won. Now the ACLU is facing a challenge from groups such as the Allia... Read More
Looks like everyone's having a go at the General Byrnes situation. Speculation is rampant. I've seen suggestions ranging from "maybe the affair wasn't with a woman" to "he was part of a coup." Read More
Two weeks after bloggers and newspapers started reporting the Air America story, a liberal North Carolina paper reports it, sort of. What's interesting is what the paper fails to say or ask. Read More
While on vacation I stumbled across this post by Dean Esmay, concerning Canadian-American relations... Read More
As the deadline for the completion of the new Iraqi constitution approaches, ABC News correspondent Chet Mansley, reporting from Baghdad, filed a report on this morning’s Good Morning America, painting a bleak, almost hopeless picture, filled w... Read More
The Terrorists Notebooks are a chilling reminder of how radical Islam has been preparing for the war against the West long before the West even had inkling such movements existed. As you look at them, you get a glimpse into the indoctrination and tra... Read More
The story in the Herald-Mail just over the border in Maryland was horrible: W.Va. man sentenced to prison in dog's death Read More
News out of Tehran is neither good, nor particularly surprising. This is of particular signifigance in regards to their nuclear development program. Iran's new president nominated a Cabinet on Sunday that has hard-liners in all key ministries and is ... Read More
My best friend since first grade ships out on Monday 8/15! My wife and I had the pleasure of kickin' it with he and his wife, family, and an Army SF friend and his family over July 4th. My best friend is a C-130 pilot and is heading out tomorrow. So t... Read More
Last week, I was pointed to this article by the author of The Myth of Hitler's Pope which refutes many of the allegations made about the role of Pope Pius XII during World War II. Read More
...she had the sorrowful distinction of living long enough to see her beloved son Peter die at age nineteen in one of the earliest battles of World War I, and her beloved grandson die fighting in WWII. She never got over her grief at either event, but... Read More
The report of The 9/11 Commission was issued as the definitive history of the Twin Towers tragedy, what went wrong so that it could happen, and an assessment of government sourced fault. But this week, by dribs and drabs, revelations were disclosed ... Read More
Cindy Sheehan is mostly being portrayed in the MSM as a lone grieving mother looking for answers about her sons death from the president who “caused” it. But that is not an accurate portrayal of the situation. Patterico details an exampl... Read More
As I filled the gas tank of the family transporter this weekend with $2.50/gallon gasoline, I could not help thinking to myself that if you fill your gas tank on a regular basis and still think the War in Iraq was about oil, you are simply too stupid t... Read More
News stories like this one make the hair on the back of my neck stand up, and not in a bad way. Washington, DC -- (ArriveNet - Aug 10, 2005) -- The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today the identification of... Read More
Ever wonder what led to the gleaming sidewalks and streets of Malaysia? Ever wonder why there is no “Op Ed” section in the daily Kaula Lampurian? Ever wonder why the radio stations in this bi-island nation don’t take calls from list... Read More
“Tell everyone we are very happy to be here” These are the words of an Iraqi boy who, along with a group of fellow soccer players, was selected to represent Iraq at the 15th annual Arsenal International Soccer Festival in London. The... Read More
I have posted two parts of this story previously. It is the story of the a glider pilot that I had the opportunity to meet in person and hear this story myself. Read all of it to get a picture of the life style of those who hauled troops and freigh... Read More
Considering it's Karl Zinsmeister (he was embedded with the 82nd Airborne during the Iraq war and wrote two excellent books about the experience, Boots On the Ground and Moon Over Baghdad) who wrote this comic book it sounds pretty interesting. The a... Read More
At the same time renegade law firm Milberg Weiss and its partners were raking in tens of millions of dollars allegedly conjuring fraud-tainted shareholder suits, they were using the proceeds to fund Senator Barbara Boxer’s 2004 re-election campa... 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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