Friday, May 25, 2007

My Turn

Greetings all!

Well my turn has finally arrived - I've been notified that I am being activated and will be deploying to Iraq this summer with my unit's sister battalion as a "filler" (along with several other soldiers from my company). The timing is a bit lousy, as I was notified of the deployment just after starting the police academy, but I suppose the call of duty waits for no-one. I would love to be able to keep you all updated here on my deployment, but with the new blogging restrictions in place I'm not sure that will be possible (hopefully I'm not violating the policy as we speak).


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Laid To Rest, In Honor

Private Kooiman is one of the frist five American service members to have the newly permitted Pentegram on his grave stone.

I am so honored to share this with you, and pray to my God that She hold all Veterans in Her hands this day. Those in harms way today, those wounded inside and out, and those who never did make it home.

Blessed Be, Blessed Be, and Blessed Be Again

Hat tip to Joel Monka

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

UU's in the Military Workshop at General Assembly 2007

If you are going, or considering going to the UUA General Assembly in Portland Oregon from June 20th to the 24th, please join us at the following workshop entitled "Military and UUism: Respecting Inherent Worth?"

Workshop time: Saturday 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Workshop title: #4023 Military and UUism: Respecting Inherent Worth?

Sponsored by: UUA Staff

Description: Congregations struggle to understand how to support military members and their families. Often times, our attitudes and/or behaviors inadvertently say to them, "You are not welcome." Why so? What can we do differently? We explore this reality, recent survey data on UU attitudes and real-lived experiences of UU military families.

Workshop leaders: Rev. Cynthia Kane, Dr. Vince Patton, Rev. Lisa Presley, and Rev. Beth Miller

For more information on General Assembly, Please visit the following link

Monday, May 21, 2007

Memorial Day

This week Krista Tippet will replay a 2006 interview with a military chaplain. This program is titled "The Soul of War" and airs on NPR. Check your listings for Speaking of Faith.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Army Censors Bloggers

From Wired News:

The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say. Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.

The new rules (.pdf) obtained by Wired News require a commander be consulted before every blog update. "This is the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging," said retired paratrooper Matthew Burden, editor of The Blog of War anthology. "No more military bloggers writing about their experiences in the combat zone. This is the best PR the military has -- it's most honest voice out of the war zone. And it's being silenced."

Sure glad this wasn't the case when I was in Iraq - I spent hours each day writing for my blog and it was one thing that helped me stay connected with the outside world.