I am sitting here next to Andi, and Sarah at the Military.com milblogging track featured panel today called From The Front.
I am listening to Bloggers Chuck Z, TF Boggs, Acute Politics, and Jack Army, they are speaking about blogging from the front lines of war, and combat.
There is some amazing content, in a lot of these blogs. A social history of what it is like to serve in todays military from a service members point of view.
Ward Carrol editor of Military.com, and contributor to Defense Tech is the moderator.
Acute Politics started his blog because he wanted to keep those at homein the loop of the day to day life of a soldier. His job, locatingIEDs in Iraq. He speaks about "the day to day mundane tasks". Hiswriting is amazing, and his blog is one of the best front line accountscurrently. He has recently returned.
TF Boggs, started his aa hobbyists blog, he interviewed other soldiers, also kept a sort ofdiary about his day to day experiences. TF Boggs, also points out hisfellow men sort of jibed him about the "interviews" and then laterwould request to be interviewed. (This point received much laughterfrom the audience.)
Jack Army, has had a blog fro some time, itstarted as political commentary and then while deployed kept a diary ofhis experience from Iraq. Jack mainly wrote about his point of view,missing his Wife Jill army and their children.
Chuck Z, was amil-blogger who was injured in Iraq. The entire milblogging communityknew of Chuck, and were in shock when they found out that he was seriously injured.
Chuck is currently speaking about how blogging was a means of decompressing. A diary based on his day to day life. He wanted his voice heard, because he felt like the media was not portraying his story accurately. Technology gave him a voice. It also worked as a means of communicating with his family.
Chuck is talking military decisions, how they effect soldiers. And how life changing those decisions can be at times.
Chuck is also one of the founders of Valour IT.
TF Boggs is up , speaking about his mission statement. He is also talking about his view being presented by him, instead of the media. He wanted a real soldier's story heard.
Acute Politics also wanted his voice heard, that was his mission.
Ward asks if blogs remain genuine to those original "purpose" or if being discovered by a larger group causes people to become more protective of content.
TF Boggs, answers with a hilarious answer, "in blogging for the girls"....tee heee....
A discussion about violating operational security, while blogging from theater. Do not give up position, effects of enemy fire etc. Noah Shactman, who writes for Danger Room, did a great piece on Centcom violating op-sec more frequently than any bloggers.
The unwritten rule of the milblogosphere, as created by Smash. Write as though your Mother, Commander, and enemy will read your blog.
An audience member speaks up re: Public Affairs Office. Defending the PAO's current position Milbloggers contend that "if the PAO's were doing their job, blogs might not be needed.
New question "does blogging save lives?"
Chuck Z, says yes. Recognition of PTSD, TMI, charities, and the networking the blogosphere.
Heated debate currently about "media", DOD, blogging, PAO's. WOWzers....
Does the military need bloggers? Should they train them?
Chuck said no, and....
"Our military should be able to blog, as a right of free speech, but do it, without violating op-sec. "
TF Boggs, talking about op-sec, my space as a MWR issue.
Does blogging matter?
"This," cried the Mayor, "is your towns darkest hour! The timefor all Who's who have blood that is red To come to the aid of theircountry!" he said. "We've GOT to make noises in greater amounts! Soopen your mouth lad! For every voice counts!" ~Horton Hears A Who