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November 11, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Posted by Greyhawk / November 11, 2005 11:19 PM | Permalink
This was sent to me by a Semper Fi, UAL retired, east coast type: Hello to all my fellow gunners, military buffs, veterans and interested guys. A couple of weekends ago I got to spend time with my son Jordan, who was on his first leave since returni... Read More
...Families were not as keen as hotel operators had hoped to bring the kids to a "family- friendly" destination that inevitably invited uncomfortable questions from Junior over the meaning of terms such as "escort service", "steamy hot action", and "Si... Read More
they don't want you to know. The recent temper tantrum of Senate Democrats over the intelligence committee's report on pre-war Iraq intelligence might have the unintended consequence of revealing their words and the words of the Clinton administration... Read More
Your Business Blogger, second from left, c. 1978 Every Veteran would be honored to share their service experiences. And what the service is, and more important, what it is not. There are many misconceptions about the military. Here are... Read More
And now for the fun stuff -- pictures and movies! Click on the captions for full-sized photos. Read More
Sometimes, once the genie is out of the bottle it is too late to fix the problem. Or maybe it's Sisyphus rolling the stone up the hill once too many times. Have too many people accept as fact the nonsensical ravings of those who think that Bush lied ... Read More
"The fact of the matter is, the spirit of armor, the spirit of cavalry is going to be with us forever. It's a legacy that we've got to carry forward -- there's a heritage there, regardless of what our formations look like." Read More
Veterans’ Day Lance Cpl. Erin Liberty Now, she wears a neck brace to assist in stabilizing the break and help with the pain. She is currently recuperating from first-, second- and third-degree burns on her hands and two black eyes in addition ... Read More
My Dad served in the Army in between the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He lost most of his hearing on his left side because of an accidental encounter with with what they used to call an atomic cannon. Thank you Read More
It has been said of our veterans that, All gave some, some gave all. With that in mind, The Opinionator and family would like to thank and salute our nation's veterans for their service to our country. For some that service meant the ultimate sacrifice... Read More
Norman Podhoretz debunks the lies so many Dems in Congress and MSM have told about President Bush and what led to the war in Iraq. Podhoretz provides a fact-filled clip-and-save for you to use the next time a lefty says something that undermines Amer... Read More
Le Paradoxe! From Opinion Journal Something very puzzling is happening in France, the New York Times reports: The number of attacks decreased sharply overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday. There were 617 arson attacks on cars, down... Read More
In a landscape blasted featureless, they lit the terrain all night with phosphorous shells and stared at the rotting corpses in front of them, dead Marines and Japanese -- they had to memorize the position of each lest enemy infiltrators sneak close ... Read More
I found the following among my father's collected papers after he died five years ago. The oilskin has aged a bit. It is reproduced here with the original and sometimes unusual formatting. Soldier Few have heard of Demoleon, Antenor's son, Who... Read More
I wasn't going to put up a Memorial Day post this year, since I didn't feel I had anything special to say at the moment. However: Arnold Harris -Veteran- did, over at Dean's World. Please read (and salute) the thoughts of a Veteran: Thanks. I love all ... Read More
Denver (AP) Embattled college professor Ward Churchill today announced that he is gay. Churchill appeared at a hastily called press conference at the So. Denver, Sherraton Resort. Appearing with Churchill was his new bride Professor Steven E. Jones, a ... Read More
President Bush May Send Up To 5 Marines For French Assistance11/4/2005 - Shelby TrialPresident Bush has authorized the Joint Chiefs to begin drawing up a battle plan to pull France's ass out of the fire again. Facing an apparent overwhelming Read More
Mrs Greyhawk was nice enough to nominate me to the Deck O Bloggers 2005 - hearts. Would you be so kind as to go and vote for me? Aaron put me up in the poll as "Soldier's Angel"... Read More
Once again I’m stating my point that the momentously vast and rapidly ever increasing mass of mundane blogs and bloggers fighting and writing in Iraq is a a HREF=”http://warisreal.blogspot.com/”>joke. As stated by Al Jazeerah; R... Read More
(Actually, I think their names are Dick and Karl, but at least he's listening to somebody smart again.) G W Bush, 11/11/2004:... One of the hallmarks of a free society and what makes our country strong is that our political 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