I’ve been following, although not blogging about, the story of CJ Grisham. Briefly, he’s a milblogger who received accolades from the White House on down, both for his bravery in battle, and for the quality of his milblog reporting. Recently, however, while living in Huntsville, he got into a wrangle with his kids’ school over a fairly picayune issue (the unexpected cost of newly mandated school uniforms). The school, of course, reacted hysterically and with great hostility, going so far as to report CJ to his superior officer. (I can assure you that, if someone working for Sprint got into a similar wrangle with a school, the school would not report him to his boss.) This reaction shouldn’t surprise anybody, of course. As Kissinger said once he entered the world of academia, “University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.” Those stakes are even smaller at elementary schools.
Despite recorded evidence to the contrary, the “VP of Membership” for the elementary school (whatever the heck position that is) contended that CJ wasn’t merely uncivil, but was actually threatening. In an open (and illiterate) letter on facebook, this gal forthrightly explained why she had to take a stand against CJ:
This has moved beyond a uniform issue, [sic] this had became a personal vendetta between everyone. Mr. Grisham felt as if his Constitutional rights were violated. I ask you the question [sic] call me a liberal or tratior [sic] to our country if you must, but how many others [sic] rights were violated during interogations [sic]? How many of them were innocent? I am not ignorant to [sic] what goes on during war by any means. I know first hand how they rape and toture [sic] their male captives, [sic] I’ve seen the physical wounds that many civilians would not believe.
(Weirdly, given her Code Pink views, the same gal appears to be a Glenn Beck fan. Go figure.)
In other words, the V.P.’s side of the vendetta had nothing to do with CJ’s concern about school uniforms.. To that one liberal, CJ is the symbol of the evil military and she was going to strike a blow against the military by destroying this one man.
That’s not the only hit CJ has taken. CJ is at the center of a bigger storm, and it is one that affects all military bloggers: the military, which originally was reasonably supportive of (or at least passive about) milblogs, has become very hostile to them. Blackfive explains:
[M]ilblogs 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 hostility 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.
You can read more about both CJ’s travails at the hands of the military and about the general military attitude right now towards blogging here, in this Army Times article.
So, on the one hand we have CJ Grisham, a man who during the invasion of Iraq rushed alone through gunfire, with just a 9mm pistol and a hand grenade to take down a squad of Iraqis when his counterintelligence detachment got pinned down in an ambush (an act that earned him a Bronze Star). On the other hand, arrayed against CJ, we have a hostile liberal education establishment, and a military that is doing its best to silence, not only CJ, but also those who serve with him. I know where I side with this one — and I bet you do too.
As for CJ’s plight as a blogger, a problem shared by hundreds of other milbloggers (whether active duty, retired, family members, etc.), today is the day that something is happening. All over the internet, milblogs are falling silent. You don’t get to read today (and maybe tomorrow too, and the day after) their anecdotes, insights, concerns, adventures, etc. Just for one day, you can to imagine a world and a war without milbloggers. It’s not very nice. War gets a little bit more hellish when our own military muzzles its troops.
Here’s a list of of participating blogs and supporters:
A Soldier’s Perspective
The American Legion
This Ain’t Hell
Kiss My Gumbo
Some Soldiers Mom
Knee Deep in the Hooah
Soldiers’ Angel New York
From my position
Pvt Murphey’s Law
Delta Bravo Sierra
Support your Local Gunfighter
Knottie’ s Niche
Great Reader JihadGene
America’s North Shore Journal
Righty in a Lefty State
Gazing at the Flag
Soldiers Angels Germany
Bring the heat, bring the stupid
Little Drops….. Into the pool of life.
The Gun Line
In Iraq Now (at 56)
Susan Katz Keating
The Mudville Gazette
The Dawn Patrol
Covering the story: