Monday Miscellania II
Tangos Down

Blackfive Turns Four!

    "Blackfive?  Weren't you the guy that stole my air conditioner in Kosovo?" - General (ret.) Wesley Clark

Blackfive turns four today.

It's that time to take a look at all that we've done over the years, supporting the troops, bustin' some chops, and getting to know some great American heroes (along with a few Brits, Aussies, Poles, El Sals, etc.).

    "I'm not sure if you ever read fan mail, or any mail, but I had to get this off my chest, on Memorial Day if no other time. My name is Alex...Currently, I'm a 19 year old male living in Alaska. As of 2 months ago, I stumbled upon your blog space BlackFive, namely the Someone You Should Know section. As I read about all the heroism, I immediately got off my lazy ass and did something I had been thinking about since graduating high school. I joined the Marine Corp." - Alex E., May 29th, 2007

Sadly, we have seen far too many brothers and sisters give their lives.  Sometimes, we've raise our glasses and shouted, "Absent Companions!"  Sometimes, this blog has become a place for friends to remember their fallen comrades

    "My son is Marine Sgt. Benjamin Edinger.  Ben died Nov. 23, 2004 at Bethesda from wounds he received in Iraq on Nov. 14, 2004.  You have his citation for the Bronze Star posted on your website.  A number of people have posted comments there, also.  I wanted to let you know that I appreciate that you put that information about Ben on your website, and that you've kept it there all this time, even though it's been almost 2 years.  The first time I saw the citation for the Bronze Star was actually on your website!  And I continue to go there to read the post and what people have written, as do other people.  Thanks so much.  It means more than you know." - Rose, Sergeant Edinger's mother.

And, sometimes, we've witnessed miraclesMany, certifiable miracles.

Hopefully, that made a difference to you.

    "If I can't pick up a rifle, then I have to do something!"- a comment to my wife in early June, 2003.

In the area of media, The Blog of War was published by Simon & Schuster. authors were quoted in more newspapers and national broadcast media than ever before.  Our partnership with Pundit Review Radio to provide the Someone You Should Know segment has changed to involve Bruce McQuain from QandO, and he's doing one helluva job.  I also attended the Military Reporters and Editors Conference to see General David Petraeus speak and talk to some of the reporters in attendance (one stated that he didn't think that I had the stones to actually show up).  It was really good to see Mike Yon there, though...

Well, we're just getting started.  And, there are some interesting projects in the works.

    "Reminiscent of Ghengis Khan..." - tagline in 2004 mocking Jawn Carrey

Over the last year, I've been threatened many times.  Had my address posted across the Internet with a threat to cut my head off in front of my family.  Gotten more hatemail and called "Nazi" than you would probably believe.  Some of the other authors here have gotten a taste of them, too.

I am also fortunate to be connected to our fighting men and women.   The difference you all have made and continue to make resonates in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I hear about your efforts daily.  Please keep making a difference.

I used to run through the people I needed to thank in blogiversaries past.  The other 8 authors here, my family, and most importantly, you the readers have made this blog successful by any measure and more capable to do more for our troops and their families each year.  That is truly a gift.

Thank you!

I'll post the obligatory Vital Stats below (from time 00:01 on June 18th).

Total Posts: 4749 (about 1,500 last year)
Total Comments: 75,412
Total Trackbacks: 22,797

Unique Visits:

  • First Year: ~628,000
  • Second Year: ~2,210,000
  • Third Year:  ~2,462,000
  • Fourth Year: 3,224,055
  • Total unique visits: 8,524,055

Total page views: 14,013,320

Update:  Harvey at Bad Example provides, among other things, some fun facts about Blackfive - the Paratrooper of Love:

* It wasn't St. Patrick that banished the snakes from Ireland. A snake once knocked over Matty's beer and he murdered the lot of them in retaliation.

* After his morning round of St. Patty's day green beer, Matty takes a leak in the Chicago River, thus turning it green for the rest of the day.

Go see the rest.