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January 24, 2006
Meeting and Greeting the Planes in MaineBy Greyhawk
We've written about the Maine Troop Greeters before, but that's no reason not to do so again.
Especially since the Christian Science Monitor ran a story about them today:
It is well after dinnertime for Kay Lebowitz, but she hardly notices - she has hundreds of American troops to greet.Read the whole thing, then come back here to learn a bit more about Kay Lebowitz - what we've dug up through the power of Google.
Kay Lebowitz, 89, has such severe arthritis that she cannot shake hands. So she hugs every Marine and soldier she can. Some of the larger, more exuberant troops lift her off the ground.That story gives more details about other greeters too:
Marjorie Dean suffered a fatal heart seizure while she and her husband, Bill, were on their way to meet a late-night flight a year ago. She was 79.Many of the greeters can really connect with the returning troops:
Don Guptill, 71, who served in the Army in Korea, listened as an enlisted Marine, his eyes fixed on the carpet, talked quietly about being wounded three times.While others provide the hugs. Back to Kay:
John W. Coombs Award RecipientMore:
"That first woman hugged me," said Lance Cpl. Jason Hougan, 22, of Long Beach, Miss., still blushing a bit as he shook more hands of veterans and Bangorians.As a result:
Marine Lt. David Tumanjan, 24, of Boise, Idaho, said the Bangor greeting is both humbling and gratifying. "It shows us that what we did wasn't in vain," he said.Awesome.
And now, to be fair and balanced, here's Joel Stein makng the case for the other side:
I DON'T SUPPORT our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on.We're okay with presenting all sides of the argument here.
But really Joel, if you ever see some troops in Vegas (or Germany), don't try "hanging" with them - no matter how badly you want to.
(Hat tip Mrs G for both stories.)
want to hang with you either.
Posted by Greyhawk / January 24, 2006 7:04 PM | Permalink
Greyhawk has a wonderful piece up about the Maine Troop Greeters, some of my favorite people in the whole world. The older ones remind me of my parents and their friends (I'm lucky they don't read this blog and won't see that "older" comment). Read More
It's not a job I'd wish on anybody, but let's pretend for a moment that you're the editor of the Los Angeles Times. Your paper has a very bad image problem--it spent 2005 running articles on the joys of L.A.... Read More
I followed a link to the Mudville Gazette where you can read about some great Americans that have committed themselves to supporting the troops. In style I might add. Read the article, you'll feel better. Until you get to the Read More
Joel Stein seconds the "military men are like toilet cleaners" comments of earlier this week. He, like the Kossak commenter, feels that the proper liberal position is to despise the soldiers: Read More
This column in the Los Angeles Times by Joel Stein, Warriors and wusses, has been getting some attention today, mainly in the form of outrage that anyone would come right out and admit they “don’t support our troops.” He tries to bu... Read More
Finally a liberal who speaks the truth and dares to say what no other lib will: that he doesn’t support the troops: This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his Read More
Joel Stein, an editorial writer for the Lost Angeles Times, has hit a new low. I will put him up against anyone in our Military, including the ladies. He wouldn't stand a chance. 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.
I like having visitors to my house. I hope you are entertained. I fight for your right to free speech, and am thrilled when you exercise said rights here. Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1)the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2)the property of the Mudville Gazette, with free use granted thereto for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
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