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December 12, 2008
Survival TipsBy Greyhawk
As [Master Sgt. Scott] Ford and Staff Sgt. John Wayne Walding returned fire, Walding was hit below his right knee. Ford turned and saw that the bullet "basically amputated his right leg right there on the battlefield."That bears repeating: "I literally grabbed my boot and put it in my crotch, then got the boot laces and tied it to my thigh, so it would not flop around". They do not teach that in CLS*.
If there's anything to smile about in the story it's that the guy's name is John Wayne.
But for the record, the opposite of that is American Jackassery, and it's not funny. (By the way, lots of background emails going on around this story - folks are not laughing.)
Cassandra channels Ayn Rand:
Kill man’s sense of values. Kill his capacity to recognise greatness or to achieve it. Great men can’t be ruled. We don’t want any great men. Don’t deny conception of greatness. Destroy it from within. The great is the rare, the difficult, the exceptional. Set up standards of achievement open to all, to the least, to the most inept – and you stop the impetus to effort in men, great or small. You stop all incentive to improvement, to excellence, to perfection. ...Is civilization threatened by the Onion? Of course not - at least, not as long as men such as those they witlessly ridicule are willing to defend it.
Allah at Hot Air: "It’s not a joke on wounded soldiers, as I take it, but a joke on the Pentagon placing unfair demands on the wounded to compensate for the manpower shortage."
And far too many commenters there agree. But they're missing the point (and likewise mistaken in claiming there's a boycott call coming from this direction). As Mrs G pointed out, "We have guys who are truly making every effort possible to stay in the military and go back with their band of brothers and there are some who are disheartened to realize that will never happen." (There are links in the original). That's what the pathetic little shits at the Onion don't get, and what the commenters at Hot Air are equally blissfully ignorant of - the piece is ridiculing the Pentagon for accommodating such folks. Their defense is ignorance, of course - they had no idea wounded troops were fighting for the right to continue serving, to get back into combat even, and have been since the war began. But they seen on the TeeVees where no one wants to join up or re-up because of the war so the Pentygon was sending all them wounded Pee Tee Ess Dee troops back to eye-rack with branes dameged so it mus be true, and it oughta get stopped!
Of course, the Onion gets to make a few bucks, too. Cause people are wiling to pay money for that kinda funny.
Just for laughs - a hilarious story from the Pentagon, March 2006:
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: There are nearly a hundred military generals with sons and daughter whose are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. One family, the Odiernos, talked to AMERICAN MORNING about what happens when father is son go off to war and the son almost doesn't come back.
An update from Greta (who actually was calling for a boycott of the Onion): "Update 9:45 PM: The video has been removed!!!!"
A must read from Robert Stokely: Elijah Carroll
*They do teach you that as long as enemy contact is maintained you will keep your weapon pointing at the bad guys and shooting, meaning that sans medic, your wounded bud (who may be you) will have to take care of him/herself. Such things are, of course, situational.
** Sorry - that was just a joke that went wrong.
Posted by Greyhawk / December 12, 2008 11:10 PM | Permalink
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...)
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