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October 9, 2005
Open PostBy Mrs Greyhawk
Fog obscures the view...
Perhaps you can offer clarity...
Posted by Mrs Greyhawk / October 9, 2005 10:20 PM | Permalink
The last autonomous vehicle still running has crossed the finish line. The last one, from the Team TerraMax group, had several things hampering its run, including a military chase vehicle that broke down. Based on the rules of the race, Read More
Every time Americans start feeling sorry for ourselves, something happens to put our misery and suffering in perspective, at least for a few days. Read More
An MSM newspaper reports a story of possible spying in the White House with liberal spin that's hard to believe. This is the second post in a series. It links to the first and provides new information. Read more here. Read More
TITLE: More thoughts on the Harriet Miers kerfuffle URL: http://smalltownveteran.typepad.com/posts/2005/10/more_thoughts_o.html IP: 126.96.36.199 BLOG NAME: Small Town Veteran DATE: 10/09/2005 11:45:47 PM Read More
Man, do I hate being right all the time! Still think Iran is peacefully working towards the goal of providing efficient and inexpensive power generation, to it's people? If that's true, then please explain to me why they're putting it Read More
One of my commenters made an offhand comment to this entry that got me thinking about a great idea for a viral marketing campaign. Cathy said: Some time ago in Boston, we threw tea off a boat. The King got... Read More
Now, not only does Loreal have a line of cosmetics for men but there's now a line for the "New Olsen Twins" who are the new spokesmodels for Loreal. Only these twins aren't exactly female. Read More
TITLE: What Is Worth Fighting For? URL: http://rightwingsparkle.blogspot.com/2005/10/what-is-worth-fighting-for.html IP: 188.8.131.52 BLOG NAME: Rightwingsparkle DATE: 10/10/2005 12:54:45 AM Read More
Once again, the MSM missed a great opportunity to inform the public of the great work that continues in theaters abroad. Members of the Combined Joint Task Force -- Horn of Africa joined the Mouloud community in Djibouti, Africa, and area officials t... Read More
One of the soldiers I write to asked me if I'd like any pictures of things that the MSM doesn't usually print. I sat and thought awhile and then asked my hubby if he had any ideas. My hubby thinks and says, "I'd like to see a picture of an Iraqi made c... Read More
Faced with sagging membership and the prospect of losing yet more ground in the War On Terror, Muslim extremist group Al Qaeda has made a bold move to shore up their organization. A spokesman for the group announced earlier today Read More
Terrorism Catch–And–Release Program Should Only Apply To Fish — Captain’s Quarters The Yemen government doesn't seem to take terrorism quite as seriously as we do, according to the London Telegraph. Their idea of handling terrorism goes even le... Read More
Over time, my correspondent has had a lot to say about the quantity and quality of armored vehicles in Iraq. I'll give you a small taste of it in this dispatch. Read More
More satisfying to me is the election tally of the major players in the GWOT. Count 'em up everyone. The ringleader President Bush is back in office for a second term, Australian Prime Minister Howard won his re-election bid, and Tony Blair is servin... Read More
Do you ever grow weary of the mindless slogans of the enemies of America? You know, the ones they foist upon the college youth Read More
I am supporting the troops of a country I don't live in and I am not a citicen of, but for me personally it has less to do with 9/11. For me it has to do with the respect for people, for men and women who chose a profession which takes them away from... Read More
one thing that might be important to set things straight is that my only connection to any thing concerning military life has been my grandfather's time fighting in the Wehrmacht in WWII Read More
Given all the publicity afforded Michael Moore, Howard Dean and Cindy Sheehan, how has the anti-war contingent of the Left (or Right) affected US foreign policy? Not one bit. The Senate voted Friday to give President Bush $50 billion more Read More
Damn it people! When are you going to understand that World War III, Civilization vs. Radical Islam, has already begin? It would appear that the US and Britain are the only two major groups that are, somewhat, taking it seriously. And even then half of... Read More
Happy Columbus Day everyone. I thought I would have some extra time having the day off to do some extra blogging today, but my wife has the flu, and I’m busy playing nurse. Please pray for her, we may have to go to the Emergency Room if she do... Read More
I received an email from Mike Cawley, who is the brother of Marine Staff Sgt. James W. Cawley, the first Iraq war casualty in Utah. He wanted to me deliver a message to Rocky Anderson when I participate as a panelist this Wednesday at Rocky Anderson'... Read More
In a very crucial development, the NY Sun reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee will open an investigation into Saudi Arabia's role in spreading hate propaganda throughout the United States. Read More
I recieved my wordpress.com invitation on Saturday morning. Wordpress.com is a hosted wordpress blog setup. I signed up to be invited right when I heard about it a few months ago. Since I don’t really need or want another blog, I’m gonn... Read More
Terrorism Zawahiri's Advice — Power Line During the summer, American forces in Iraq intercepted a long letter from al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's number two leader, to Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda's forces in Iraq. Initially, only a few sentences were... 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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