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November 6, 2009
The fallenBy Greyhawk
From a story on one of the soldiers wounded at Ft Hood: "Lunsford is in stable condition at the hospital in Temple, Tex., where hundreds waited in line to give blood for the wounded."
First responders use a table as a stretcher to transport a wounded soldier to an awaiting ambulance at Fort Hood Nov. 5, 2009. U.S. Army photo.
They are among the wounded. Some might say "lucky" - but others would disagree.
First responders carry a victim to an ambulance during the deadly shooting on Fort Hood, Texas, Nov. 5, 2009. Thirteen people were killed and 30 were injured in the incident. DoD Video Screengrab.
The toll may still rise:
Names have not been officially released, but around the country family members have been notified. And the story isn't just about Ft Hood, it's about a cross-section of Americans - men, women, old, young - united by service to the country in which they fell. The youngest was 19, the oldest, 62. Many were health care professionals. One, 51-year old Russell Seager, was described by his uncle as a man who "joined the Army a few years back because he was a psychiatrist who wanted to help returning veterans adapt back to civilian life."
Their stories follow.
At Pearson's Bolingbrook family home on Friday, a yellow ribbon was tied to a porch light and a sticker stamped with American flags on the front door read, "United we stand."
Gloria Nemelka, grandmother of Aaron Thomas Nemelka, who was killed at Fort Hood, Texas, on Thursday, talks to reporters in front of the Nemelka home in West Jordan on Friday. Michael Nemelka hugs his daughter Bridget in the background. (Rick Egan / The Salt Lake Tribune)
Aaron Nemelka and girlfriend Kristin Whittle
His uncle says the 51-year old Seager "joined the Army a few years back because he was a psychiatrist who wanted to help returning veterans adapt back to civilian life."
Detectives assigned to the Fort Hood Directorate of Emergency Sevices respond Nov. 5, 2009, to a shooter barricaded in the post's deployment readiness center. Thirteen people died and 30 more were wounded in the incident. U.S. Army photo
Also killed was 29-year-old Amy Krueger of Kiel. The injured included 23-year-old Army Reserve Spc. Grant Moxon of Lodi and 19-year-old Amber Bahr of Random Lake.In Amy Krueger's home town:
Post police take cover when a gunman fires shots at the Fort Hood Soldier Readiness Processing Center Nov. 5, 2009. U.S. Army photo.
Hunt joined the Army a year after graduating from Tipton High School and served for three and a half years, including a tour in Iraq, where he celebrated his 21st birthday.
If early reports are correct, Michael Grant Cahill, a 62-year old physician's assistant, was the only civilian killed in the murder spree. Cahill was formerly a resident of Spokane, and leaves behind his wife, Joleen, three children, Keely, Kerry, and Jaime, and a grandson, Brody.
Cahill suffered a heart attack two weeks ago, but had already returned to work. He and his wife, Joleen, had been married 37 years.
The family's typical Thanksgiving dinners ended with board games and long conversations over the table, said Vanacker, whose voice often cracked with emotion as she remembered her father. "Now, who I am going to talk to?"
SWAT team members approach a building with a gunman inside. Thirteen people were killed and 30 more wounded in an attack by a lone gunman at Fort Hood, Texas, Nov. 5, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jason R. Krawczyk
Capt. John Gaffaney, US Army Reserve, was a North Dakota native who had also served in the Navy and the California National Guard.
Emergency personnel carry a victim to an ambulance in the deadly shooting on Fort Hood, Texas, Nov. 5, 2009. Thirteen people were killed and 30 others were injured in the rampage. DoD Video Screengrab.
According to this story Warman was "originally from Pittsburgh, but she lived in Maryland in the Havre De Grace area for the last ten years."
"I am so excited to be leaving the country again soon. Just now got a few minutes. So much to do, so many lives to touch. Just wish it didn't take me away from home so much."
- Psychiatric nurse practitioner Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, in her final Facebook entry hours before she was murdered by Nidal Hassan. "Warman had been at Fort Hood for only 24 hours to be processed for duty in Iraq, a deployment for which she had volunteered."
LtC Warman is survived by her husband, two daughters, three stepchildren and eight grandchildren, her mother and six siblings.
After 13 years in the Army, DeCrow, who was married and had a 13-year old daughter, was scheduled to be medically discharged:
The family planned to live in Georgia after his discharge.
CNN says his wife, Marikay DeCrow, said her husband went to Fort Hood in September to prepare for his deployment to Iraq. He was scheduled to deploy sometime between December and March.
Tragically, more to follow
A first responder to a lone gunman's attack at Fort Hood Nov. 5 renders honors at retreat after aiding his fellow soldiers. U.S. Army photo.
Posted by Greyhawk / November 6, 2009 1:58 PM | Permalink
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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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