CJOffDuty

On Wednesday 16 December 2009, many milblogs — including Bouhammer, 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 (http://www.soldiersperspective.us/).  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.

An excellent story on the situation with C.J. can be found here at Bouhammer:  Decorated soldier’s blog attracts loyal following, but he says his bosses are muzzling him
While there have been new developments, the core problem remains, and C.J.  is having to raise funds to cover legal expenses to protect both his good  name and his career.

One need only look at the number of blogs by active duty military in combat  zones and compare it to just a few years ago to see the chilling effect that  is taking place.

Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information  about the military, and military operations, to the public.  They have  provided vital context and analysis on issues critical to operations and to  the informed electorate critical to the Republic.

On Wednesday 16 December, readers will have the chance to imagine a world  without milblogs, and to do something about it.  Those participating are  urging their readers to contact their elected representatives in Congress,  and to let their opinions be known to them and to other leaders in  Washington.

Some milblogs will remain silent for several days; some just for the day.  All have agreed to keep the post about the silence and C.J. at the top of  their blogs until Friday 18 December.
The issues go beyond C.J., and deserve careful consideration and  discussion.  We hope that you will cover this event, and explore the issues  that lie at the heart of the matter.  Contact the milbloggers in your area  or that you know, and hear the story that lies within.

A Partial List of Participating Blogs:

Bouhammer’s Afghan & Military Blog http://bouhammer.com

This Ain’t Hell http://thisainthell.us/blog/

Boston Maggie  http://bostonmaggie.blogspot.com/

Blackfive  http://www.blackfive.net/main/

Miss Ladybug  http://miss-ladybug.blogspot.com

Drunken Wisdom  http://beerbrains.com/

Grim’s Hall  http://grimbeorn.blogspot.com/

Frommyposition  http://frommyposition.com/

CDR Salamander - http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com

Grisham Legal Fund
c/o Redstone Federal Credit Union
220 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35893
Please write “Grisham Legal Fund” in the memo line if you use this option.

Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information  about the military, and military operations, to you.  Today, many milblogs  are gone and others are under attack from within and without.  Today, you  have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something  about it.  Make your voice heard by writing your congressional  representatives and others, and by making donations as you see fit.

The battle for freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas is fought on  many fronts and in many ways.   Without your help, the battle may well be  lost.