Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Milblogs Go Silent

I have written about CJ Grisham before and the problems he is having not only with the local school board in his community, but also the problems he is facing from within the Army community and chain of command. Well milbloggers are staging a day of protest today, refusing to post any new articles to show their support for one of their own. I support their efforts.

On Wednesday 16 December 2009, many milblogs — including This Ain’t Hell, From My Position, Blackfive, Miss Ladybug, Boston Maggie, Grim’s Hall, and those participating in the Wednesday Hero program — are going silent for the day. Some are choosing to go silent for a longer period of time.

The reason for this is two-fold. First, milblogs are facing an increasingly hostile environment from within the military. While senior leadership has embraced blogging and social media, many field grade officers and senior NCOs do not embrace the concept. From general apathy in not wanting to deal with the issue to outright hositility to it, many commands are not only failing to support such activities, but are aggressively acting against active duty milbloggers, milspouses, and others. The number of such incidents appears to be growing, with milbloggers receiving reprimands, verbal and written, not only for their activities but those of spouses and supporters.

The catalyst has been the treatment of milblogger C.J. Grisham of A Soldier’s Perspective . C.J. has earned accolades and respect, from the White House on down for his honest, and sometimes blunt, discussion of issues — particularly PTSD. In the last few months, C.J. has seen an issue with a local school taken to his command who failed to back him, and has even seen his effort to deal with PTSD, and lead his men in same by example, used against him as a part of this. Ultimately, C.J. has had to sell his blog to help raise funds for his defense in this matter.

The milbloggers are also asking those who regularly read their blogs, or anybody who is interested in preserving some semblance of First Amendment rights for those in the military to contact their elected officials and let them know that milbloggers have provided a valuable service reporting on military matters and the Global War on Terror by filling the gap that our mainstream media has created.

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