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January 24, 2006
Open PostBy Mrs Greyhawk
Posted by Mrs Greyhawk / January 24, 2006 10:44 PM | Permalink
the creator of a brand-new superhero comic strip promoting the 99 qualities of Allah has recruited Planned Parenthood Golden Gate superhero Dianysus and former MP George Galloway in the biggest alliance of superheros since the formation of Justice Leag... Read More
Editorial- Let me start by saying I am a huge supporter of Jack Bauer and that I appreciate all that he does for our country. His is a thankless job that by it's nature goes unnoticed and unrewarded by Read More
First it was Microsoft, then Yahoo and other Internet portals were quick to follow. Today, Google became the latest Internet content provider to give in to the demands of China's Communist dictators. Read More
Mom in America has a post about Eddie Ryan. He needs our help so he can go home. Please read Mom's post. If you don't know Eddie, he was a sniper in Iraq. He was shot in the head and jaw. Despite the odds he has survived and is slowly recovering. Read More
... Damn it, George! Are you paying any attention at all? "Mexican Army troops had several mounted machine guns on the ground more than 200 yards inside the U.S. border." That's called an invasion, George. The United States Constitution requires the Un... Read More
Hugh Hewitt’s interview with MULLETBOY Joel Stein today was among the best pieces of radio I’ve ever heard. It’s tempting to call that interview by its own name, like “Fisking”. Hugh deserves to have a new verb inspired... Read More
I'm angry! Really angry. What's the deal with Iraq? There seem to be way too many people over there. I don't mean our people. I mean theirs. Especially children. What about the children? They're over there, running around, playing soccer. Sometim ..... Read More
Joel Klien had an Op Ed in the LA Times today titled "Warriors and Wusses". He begins his article by stating "I don't support the troops". He goes on to state that liberals are wusses for claiming "I support the troops but not the war". Klien is the ... Read More
I'm posting this in the spirit of my far left leaning friends. By spirit I mean that, in the loony left's way of thinking; MY opinion is the only opinion that matters. The first amendment applies to only me. Sit Read More
Virginians need to be well informed and need to understand the directions being taken in the effort to correct the situation that illegal entry into the country has created. We can't have such citizens if we don't talk about it and that means focusin... Read More
Wanna hear something funny? Two years ago, Bill Gates predicted that in two years' time the spam problem would be solved. Time's up, Bill. Now—wanna hear something even funnier? Ryan Hamlin, the manager of Microsoft's anti-spam programs, says that, w... Read More
From Military.com, an M-60 A4 firing 850 rounds "at one sitting." It seems the old standby crew served weapon has been given improved qualities... Read More
Having brothers can have an interesting effect on one's life. One of them is, if you live in Austria, that at age 17 each of them will get a letter to come to a local military post, where they will have to go through a phyiscal and mental examination... 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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