Saturday, November 15, 2008

Welcome Mat, A Little Housekeeping

I will continue my response to Peter Marton's invitation to discussion about the ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces,) but first I'd like to do a couple of things.

Welcome to the Blogosphere!

Welcome to a couple of new bloggers recently BOG (Boots On Ground) in The Suck.

Longwarrior started blogging while in the Combat Advisor Course at Ft Riley. He's apparently going to mentor the ANA... of course, I am witness to the fact that such assignments may be subject to change without notice. Hopefully they've ironed that little glitch out of the system. It's a disconcerting thing, but certainly not a killer.

I'm still drawing breath, anyway.

Afghanistan Shrugged
, a nod to the novel by Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, is a well-written blog by an ETT team chief already downrange with the ANA at FOB Bermel, a scant 4K from the Pak border. His inaugural blog was on 11 October, but he's already qualled for his combat badge several times over, and he still seems to be in good spirits.

New blood is important to the blogosphere. I remember when I was still just a beginner as a blogger; a predecessor in the blogosphere, apparently suffering from PTSD, fired off a polemic about new bloggers. It was quite the rant, and almost made me feel guilty for being me. I managed to shrug it off, and the support from folks in the States made me feel like what I was doing was worthwhile.

I'm still doing it. Like Bouhammer, I'm going to do until either; a) I lose relevance, b) I am really tired of it, or c) I lose the ability to type.

These new guys are so important to keeping the stream of relevant information and experiences flowing. Please make them feel welcome by stopping by and sending them a note welcoming them to the medium. I know that there are some really wonderful people out there who will show them the same support as I received.

While I'm at it, thank you all; and you know who you are (I hope;) for your support while I was downrange. Now it's time to put some push behind these guys. It made a difference to me, and I know it will make a difference to them. If they get a tenth of the support I received, it will let them know how important what they are doing is and that they have not been forgotten in their time travels back to 1387.

There's another one out there pondering on whether to start one or not. I'm hoping he adds another voice to the chorus.

Gentlemen, welcome to the blogosphere.

[Editorial note: For a long time, I've never felt compelled to add a blogroll; I was the one who needed linking to, after all. I'm the little guy. Well, now there are ones who are littler than me (for the time being,) and so I finally can steer traffic to someone else and feel like I may actually add to their readership. As long as I was doing that, I just added a few of my favorites as well. Don't be insulted if your favorite is not on there yet... I'm still a nube to this, after all, and I'm still working on it. It doesn't mean I don't read them.]

Speaking of not being able to type...

Project Valour IT is a project to provide voice-enabled laptops to wounded warriors, an amazingly effective way to assist in their recovery and keep them connected. While people like Dana White have been raising money for Fisher House (she met her goal, THANK YOU!!!) so that their immediate family can be near them while they recover, Project Valour IT has been helping them stay connected to the larger world as well. Unfortunately, there is a great demand for their services; and they are now out of money.

Yup, it's another opportunity to put your money where your yellow ribbon is.

Now, I'm not the wizard behind all of this, but there are those who are smarter about it than I am.

Anyway, they've divided into teams by service. Guess whose team I'm on? Here's a hint and a link to make a donation:

Soldiers Angels and people like Dana White (Fisher House) are the undecorated heroes of this war. They sacrifice time and treasure so that wounded warriors are taken care of and soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines downrange can feel the love. There are civilian medals that I hope that someone (with some rank) will someday fill out a few 638's and recognize these folks for their unselfish acts of wondrous kindness and patriotism. (Hint, hint, you O-6 and above's out there.)

And finally...

O adds a poke-in-the-eye to Meo.

Nick Meo is on vacation this week, due "back in the office" this coming week. While there is speculation on what that means (pray it's not Afghanistan,) we are going to put one more finger in his eye. Without further ado, here's what O has to say:

Dear Gentlemen,
I would like to present my opinion on your recent article concerning your mishap while embedded with a PMT team while in Afghanistan.

Initially I would like to extend you the promise of a tomorrow. That meaning a soldier died in the performance of his duties AND the protection of a non-combatant reporter. I speak first hand of taking reporters into dangerous places not far from where Mr. Nick Meo was. War is dangerous and people die.

My fellow soldiers kept you alive! Your comments about the post it note are outrageous lies. Your failure to respect the life of a fallen soldier is utterly ridiculous. In retrospect those surviving soldiers could have left you behind, not taken care of you, etc.

You opted to take space on a helicopter in a region where weight savings and altitude for empty flight risk the lives of the crew. I truly feel you are a coward and not worthy of reporting anything. If your employer feels the need to retain you as an employee I sure hope I never hear of you in Afghanistan again.

I'll ask one question in closing. I doubt I'll get a response. Would you have filmed the death and immediate reactions of fellow British soldiers. I have worked side by side with French, German. Norwegian and British soldiers in Afghanistan. Never would we disrespect a fallen comrade.

No thanks


I've got to put out another call for everyone who will take a moment to send one more email to The Telegraph, encouraging them to keep Meo in the UK, not spewing drivel all over Afghanistan. Zabiullah Mujahid does plenty of that, thank you.

Here is the email address for the editors of The Telegraph. Help defeat the insidious spread of Meoism; please send them an email and encourage them to keep Meo contained in the UK.


  1. I'll start reading the newbies right away. Thanks for the heads-up. AND for the mention on your blogroll! I am honored. Cheers!

  2. It just so happens that I agree with you on the support for new bloggers out of A'stan. Soldiers'Angels will take care of them, I'm sure...

    There are too few "nube" who are giving us word pictorials of what is going on in the Suck. Especially from the perspective of an ETT. Hmmm, wonder if they could influence some of those PMT's and HTT's to start a blog. Perhaps it would give everyone a more cohesive picture of the situation. Certainly a much truer picture than what the MSM puts out.

    Oh, many thanks for adding me to your blogroll. I'm in very good company!

  3. I just visited a few of your recommendations.
    As usual, you lead and inform us well. Thanks!


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