July 20, 2009

They Mean Everything Us

This is an article I wrote for the National Museum of Americans in Wartime newsletter, that should be in mailboxes as we speak. Enjoy.

They Mean Everything Us
By David M

I want to thank Craig Stewart and the staff of The National Museum of Americans in Wartime for this opportunity to address its membership. When I first heard about the museum, I knew right away that it was an organization with which I needed to be involved, and I haven’t been disappointed one bit. In my initial meeting with Craig and Elizabeth, I was impressed by their desire to not only bring a multimedia approach to the museum and its mission, but also their desire to embrace this so-called “new media” of blogs and bloggers, and more importantly the Milbloggers.

Some of you I am sure are asking yourself, what is a Milblogger, some may even be asking what is a blog? Well, in essence a blog is a web-site devoted to a person’s writing, a journal if you will and a Milblog is a blog devoted to military matters. Some milblogs are written by Veterans, some by Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and some are written by the families and friends of those same Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.

So why was I excited that Craig and his staff were embracing those bloggers, because if you are looking for information on the state of affairs as it concerns OIF or OEF and are reliant upon the newspapers and television newscasts for that information then you are missing out on the whole story. Bloggers tend to write directly from the heart, their only agenda being to tell their families and friends what it is they are going through while deployed, or training to deploy, or for the families, what they have to endure while their loved one is deployed.

More importantly, the milbloggers are already wedded to the mission of the museum, for they too seek to Inspire a new generation to the virtues of service, they seek to Educate those about the life of service that many still endure that is not biased by a political agenda and they also seek to Honor those who are serving our country as well as those who have given their last full measure in service to the same. We accept this final mission because we must as a generation: tell the story of our current heroes in the war on terror because the mainstream media and at times our own Government have failed us miserably in that regard. Some of the biggest and widely read blogs were started because a friend fell in battle and no one was there to write about their accomplishments. As the family friend of a fallen hero memorialized at my own blog The Thunder Run stated in a news story, as she spoke of 1LT Robert Seidel III “…[T]hey mean everything to us.”

They mean everything to us. What more fitting a phrase than to describe the mission of The Museum of Americans in Wartime as they seek to not only tell the stories of our Veterans and those currently in service to our country but also those who “serve” on the home front. We must tell their stories not because they are important, for they are, but because they mean everything to us and the inclusion of bloggers in the museum is a vital link in the outreach in which the museum will find itself in telling those stories and thus Educate those that follow, Inspire a new generation and Honor those who have gone on before us. I can’t think of a better mission to be involved in and I hope that we can have a long and lasting relationship for there are millions of stories waiting to be told.

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