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Hey - it's that time of year when the networks roll out the old Christmas specials. Here at Mudvile we think that's a fine idea, so we're going to do some of our own. This one's from December, 2004. This email I received during my first deployment in Iraq illustrates how trivial certain "burning issues of the day" seem with the passage of a very small amount of time - something to keep in mind during the next manufactured outrage. (By the way, I never made any of the comments this individual references - and I don't recall anyone else thinking 'that soldier should be punished'.)
From the email:
It is with some regret that I have to inform you I will no longer regularly visit your site. I find it increasingly difficult to read given the growing focus on pure political issues rather than military issues. Your contributors are entitled to their opinions, but the political comments have recently taken on a screechy tone that leave me cold. For instance, I don't see any mention of Rumsfeld using the auto-pen to sign condolence letters, but I do see comments that the soldier who had the audacity to question Rumsfeld regarding the lack of HUMVEE armor should be punished by his commanding officers for speaking his mind.
I guess I wonder whether the purpose of the blog is to preach to the choir or to educate. Either is of course well within your rights, and I would like to compliment you for the time and effort needed to keep the site running. However, whereas I used to learn a great deal about the opposing side of issues, I now feel like you are in the same echo chamber as LGF . My respectful suggestion is to return to your focus on the soldiers and not indulge in name-calling with respect to those who exercise their Constitutional freedoms.
Thank you for your service and have a merry Xmas.
("Ahem", ... cracks knuckles... begins typing...)
Merry Christmas dear friend, I'm inspired, you know,
But the Mrs should get all the thanks
It's her time and effort that makes this site go,
While I'm here dodging helos and tanks
So few minutes to spare out of each busy day,
but so many things cry for attention
there's no time for issues that seem far away,
so most of them get not a mention
While sometimes in our vehicles politicians ride,
'round V-beds and mortars detected
I still think we GIs can help them decide,
how much armor could keep us protected
And reporters with pens that kill us the same,
as things in Iraq or a 'Stan
and enemies here with unpronounceable names,
will get a few words when I can
But there's nothing here now and few posts I recall,
unrelated to things military
That's what MilBlogs are about, after all;
it's sad that you find us so scary
So unless Christmas day Rummy unwraps a pen,
that brings life to the dead with a scribble
I'll not consider the issue again
- I've no doubt there are those who will quibble
I've used this phrase lately, about serious things,
like life-and-death issues and war
If your focus is trivial then here's what it brings:
you'll sit with the grownups no more
But we care much for those at the kiddy table too,
for without us just where would they be?
To be gracious, if wrong, I'll admit to what's true;
There are some things I sometimes don't see
Maybe this is the burning issue today,
and your main complaint this good season
Then the world is a fine place indeed I must say,
and perhaps I'm a small part of the reason
Best wishes to you in this Season of Joy,
from here at the wall that stands firm
between you and a pen-free existence, my friend,
nothing less than a year with no greater concerns
(Original post: 2004-12-22 16:44:21)
I've forgotten you were a poet. You should do it more often.
Since I can turn on any radio or TV station and get what the left wants us to think/know of the world, including Iraq, I read your site to get the REAL news. Even most of the media military pundits are retired and act like Monday morning quarterbacks toeing the line of their Network paymasters. Easy to sit in D.C. or NYC and say what "ought to have been." Just keep posting what you wish. It is, after all, YOUR blog!
Thank you for your service to our country, and Merry Christmas!Posted by Bachbone at December 22, 2004 03:02 PM
uehhuhh is that supposed to bother you that he is leaving? LOL Well I guess a Sevice Members unfiltered thoughts are not wanted.Posted by jbrookins at December 22, 2004 03:27 PM
Very nice. I wish I could be so polite and so stinging at the same time!
Thank you for your news, commentary, humor, and poetry. And Merry Christmas to you, your loved ones, and your brothers in arms.
You tell 'em, Greyhawk.
If anyone on this earth has earned the right to speak his mind, you have.
And if I may be so bold as to appropriate a tribute I perhaps have no right to offer, in my opinion you are truly
to all that is best and most worthy about this great nation.
You did not give up your right to your opinion when you decided to serve your country.Posted by Cassandrat at December 22, 2004 04:23 PM
Well... that'll teach me to post under silly names at ScrappleFace ... :)Posted by Cassandra at December 22, 2004 04:24 PM
First I was able to share the lovely and talented poetry of Mrs. Greyhawk with my readers, and now yours as well! And used it as my own piling on with spanking of the press! We need to keep after them, though I doubt they will grow a conscience at this late date.
Kudos, and thanks, for your service and contributions our country, and to the blogosphere! You're both great poets! Have the Merriest Christmas possible. God Bless you both.Posted by DagneyT at December 22, 2004 04:33 PM
I hope you do not think I've written any of these beautiful poems. Greyhawk has the talent but not I. I don't have a poetic bone in my little body. My talent is cutting and pasting these poems and hoping I can give them the exposure they deserve.
Always remember that you cannot please everyone all the time. Be true to your own opinions and values.Posted by Victoria at December 22, 2004 07:00 PM
You never cease to amaze me. I knew you were an excellent writer, but now poetry too. I hope some day you will get the time to write a book and be sure to let the world know who GH really is. Stay safe.Posted by Grannylu at December 22, 2004 09:02 PM
YOU CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!Posted by Trulio Disgracius at December 22, 2004 10:35 PM
OUTSTANDING! THANK YOU SIR FOR YOUR POST IT NAILS THE RIGHT SPOT'S. THOSE THAT CAN DO..THOSE THAT CAN'T BITCH. THANK YOU & WIFE FOR BOTH OF YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY.Posted by MIKE SHEEHAN at December 23, 2004 12:08 AM
Ditto what Mike said!! You guys are the greatest. Thank you.Posted by Maggie at December 23, 2004 03:52 AM
Seems to me that since this is YOUR blog you can write about whatever you want. There are no rules. There are no guidelines. Its whatever you want - FREE SPEECH - the thing your're in Iraq fighting for them as well as us. I don't care if you start blogging about origami - I'll still read it. The great thing about freedom is - you choose what to write - we choose what to read. Thansk GH for keeping it real.Posted by Kathleen A at December 23, 2004 04:10 AM
Well, it ain't T.S. Eliot, but not a bad stab at verse.
What your correspondent doesn't understand is that a blog is an extension of the author's thought and personality, a creative response to the things that interest him (or her, of course). It isn't the blogger's job to tailor his "product" to fit market demand. That might be the case, if the average blogger was in it for the money, but I doubt that many are (except for some of Soros' paid stooges, like Kos and Willis).Posted by D Carter at December 23, 2004 05:31 AM
To the GreyHawk family, thank you for your service and sacrifices keeping distance between us and harms way. Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Sean, merry xmas.
Posted by Cindy at December 23, 2004 01:21 PM
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sean won't read your blog
Hey! now you know why I flunked my 7th grade poetry class! I couldn't get past lookin' at the pictures. You, on the other hand Hawk, obviously paid attention in skool! ;-)
I guess this means that there is now another spot available for someone on the Mudville waiting list to move up and participate. ;-)
Merry Christmas Sand Dweller. Thoughts, Hopes, and Prayers are with you and Mrs. Hawk this Holiday Season. May God Bless You and Yours! :-)Posted by JarheadDad at December 23, 2004 03:34 PM
Many thanks for the service of the entire Greyhawk clan. May your Christmas and New Year be blessed. I will continue to read and agree with other comments that this is your blog and nobody has the right to demand that you post only what they choose to read.Posted by Pat in NC at December 23, 2004 04:12 PM
On Feb 18, 1971, Lt. Joseph H. Marshall, INF, was killed flying as a gunship pilot in Laos.
I notified the family and acted as survivor assistance officer.
The unit to which I was assigned allowed me the time to do anything I thought necessary and offered what support to the family that we could. It was a strong family--with others serving and WW II vets--and needed little support. The Army provided a headstone and another SAO after I got off active duty. I helped that guy deliver the headstone after a couple of glitches--my civilian employer allowed me the time I needed to take care of the family--and I was in contact with them later, when the county from which Jay went to war erected a monument and Viet Nam Vets of the county were looking for families.
This is not about me. In an alternate universe, Jay is looking after my family. It's just how it is.
The point is that, given all these things, the autopen clamor is b888888t. It's something the lefties and Bush haters think might have some traction.
It does not occur to them that the signature on a letter might be not be important at all to the family who just had the most horrifying visit imaginable.
It just is not, and that the lefties think they can make some hay out of this indicates how stupid they are, and that they try indicates how vile they are.
As if we doubted either.
I'm not leaving. I enjoy the articles and the comments.
Wahhh! Wahhh! poor liberals lost the election! They don't even have the respected Dan Rather or the PBS guy that no one watched. The horrors...
Now, they are isolating themselves from the truth that the rest of the country is learning. They will lose worse next time.Posted by JoeS at December 24, 2004 04:40 AM
Having spent many a holiday deployed, I know that this can be a difficult time of year.
So, I just wanted to say Thank You for your service. You are in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas Day.
Stay Safe and God Bless.
Thanks for all of the deployed members links
Thank you. I'm glad you're here.Posted by Valerie at December 20, 2005 05:34 PM
Here Here!Posted by El Capitan at December 21, 2005 02:49 PM
Wow - you never cease to amaze me Greyhawk. I come here for the info, but also for the well researched jags you go on, and now poetry. What a great verse - as some of the others said - you nailed all the right points, did it politely, and with some humor. You and Mrs. G have a great Christmas, and thank you for serving.Posted by Bill W at December 22, 2005 05:08 PM
Merry Christmas Greyhawks! This blog is a very fine read, and the poem especially so.Posted by MD at December 22, 2007 12:07 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(25) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)