Saturday, April 10, 2010
Milblogs is hosting a session of Military Blogger's Roundtable with MG Hogg live from Afghanistan, who is working with Afghan special forces or "commandos". Per the general, recruitment is improving, but is seasonally challenging as other employment opportunities arise, but retention is very, very high - pay raise helped! The commandos are active and are having successes.
Michael Yon is on the phone from Afghanistan and we've got some other people in the room to talk about national security issues.
Michael is talking about media coverage of the war. It's a hazardous and expensive place to operate as a journalist, independent or otherwise...and he just got "dis-embedded". Beyond his blog, he now has a facebook page and tweets... Check out his photos!
Next "panel" member: Abe Sofaer of the Hoover Institution. And a veteran of US Air Force. Greyhawk asks, "Why did you leave??" more aptitude for State Department! Career stretched from Carter admin through Reagan admin, during which several terrorist events occurred (including the murder of Navy Seal Robert Stetham aboard hijacked TWA flight into Greece and murder of American passenger Leon Klinghoffer on passenger cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, both in 1985 - both vivid memories for me). He has a new book that examines at legal vs. illegal uses of force in post-9/11 world: "The Best Defense? Legitimacy & Preventive Force"
UPDATE: Next fabulous panel member, SSgt Norman Hatch, USMC! He was a combat cameraman in the Pacific in WWII. He contributed to the work that formed the Academy Award winning documentary, "With the Marines on Tarawa". Watch some archived footage HERE. NPR has an article and interview, and the Marines have it covered HERE.
The moderator (Greta! she's an Angel, too)
A great panel with reps from the Navy Memorial, Wounded Warrior Project, Blue Star Families, and Soldiers' Angels...talking about fund raising and "friend" raising. Message: they all have great missions, but without funding a lot less happens. However, social networking tools help build maintain powerful relationships for supporting our active duty troops and veterans.
Update: Great question from Navy News... If you were Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a day (ADM Mullen!), what would you ask troops to do to help troop support orgs?
1) encourage troops to share their stories - so many people don't know anything about the current war in Afghanistan (Shelle with Soldiers' Angels)
2) encourage veterans returning from theater to be aware of other new veterans who are having challenges after returning from war (Keith with Wounded Warrior Project)
More to come...
Just about to get under way here in Arlington at the 5th Annual Milblogs Conference! Wish you were if you aren't :-) ...but you can watch it live on the web HERE, thanks to the sponsorship of VA Mortgage Company (the folks that bring you YouServed).
I didn't even blog about this conference last year because it was co-scheduled with the 2009 Face of America Bike Ride, and Kathi and I (and the Banner Princess) were driving all over DC at the wee hours of the morning (!) to be here and to hang banners along the bike ride route.
Things were off to a great start last night with the opening panel and a great reception. Soldiers' Angels was the grateful beneficiary of the annual Jail and Bail fundraiser along with Homes for Our Troops. We also had great music from Saving Abel...who were blasting from my car CD player on the way over this morning.
And now... we're listening to a taped message from CDRCENTCOM, General David Petraeus! Thank you, sir, for taking the time to recognize this conference and milbloggers :-)