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MilBlog conference 2009

April 27, 2009

This was my 2nd MilBlog conference and it was such a pleasure to see so many of “us” in one place. I had a great time reconnecting with some of the “rock stars” of the blog world, and meeting some new folks as well.  Bouhammer was his usual self,  a gracious and great guy, and introduced me to a woman I admire very much, his lovely wife – who works so very hard for the troops!   Matt/Blackfive was happy to hear from Chief in the Sand about his site and downloads! The special guest, MG Oates live from Iraq, is a blogger, who takes it seriously and uses it to keep intouch with his troops.

It was a great day and a half, the panelists, for the most part, were intelligent, knowledgeable about their subject, and a couple of them were fantastic !

Lets start with Lily Burana. For those of you who haven’t read her book yet “ I Love a Man in Uniform” – well after I tell you that you MUST do so… let me do a brief intro. Lily married a career officer after a varied career including writer, punker, model and stripper. She continued being a writer, and a brutally honest one too. Her book produced a great many “ah HA” moments, the “oh, yeah, been there!” , laughter and tears. As a panelist, her wit, ability to get to the point, and no fear, were refreshing.  She and AirForceWife were a terrific comedy duo!  After the panel, Lily was very gracious and signed books, and   I was very honoured to share a cocktail, and some good pizza afterwards with her and some new friends.

On the veterans panel, Genevieve Chase of American Women Veterans  (she is working to establish it as a non-profit) – after a fun surprise beginning (where she announced that we might not know it, but we were naked!) more than held her own when being confronted with someone who was rather reactionary and decided that the walls have to go up between Us and Them.   This panelist decided that the veterans community needs to pull in, not let the media in (after all, ALL media can’t be trusted….) etc.  He might want to remember that he is still a serving officer, and remember to watch what he says in public concerning the command structure and the administration.  It was entirely inappropriate.   Genevieve delivered a great rebuttal – which did take the wind out of his sails a while – and did it with grace, and firmness.   Many of us watching – are convinced there’s a new star on the blog/veteran’s horizon.

The final panel just BLEW me away.  Three very knowledgeable men, talking about the GWOT, they write policy blogs and are so incredibly smart, never talked down to their audience, and there was no evidence of (to quote one of my new friends) the “testosterone gunslinger”.  If you want to read thoughtful analysis, facts without spin, THESE are the sites you need to head to.  Small Wars Journal, Long War Journal, and Abu Magawama .

Problems – the usual – no internet access had been prearranged, and there was a scramble for the very few available power outlets. There must be somewhere we could have these conferences, with enough power strips! The internet access did eventually appear – but there were so many of us blogging (wow – imagine that- blogging at a bloggers conference!), we seemed to have exceeded the permitted signins, and there were those that could not get on. The Restaurant and Bar – great food – the pizza’s are really good – the service SUCKED!  25 minutes to wait for a Sam Adams – which came without a glass!!  I’d say the hotel needs a shakeup in the waitstaff.

It was a great conference with good panel discussions.    Great job, Andi, JP, Jeanie,  Vince and Ward! go relax, have an adult beverage or two… or more…after all, it’s 12 months until the next one.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2009 2:05 am

    I was there with you in spirit! Thanks for the review.

  2. April 27, 2009 2:28 pm

    Glad it went alright! Thanks for going, and for the update. Next year, hopefully I can make it!

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