I was thrilled to be invited by Lieutenant Commander Charlie Brown, Public Affairs Director for the Commander – Naval Air Forces – Pacific (COMNAVAIRPAC) to be part of a Blogger Embark aboard the USS Nimitz later this month. We'll be flying to and from the Nimitz on a Navy C-2 Greyhound (twin-turboprop Navy Transport) where we will witness Navy and Marine Corps life at sea.
Here is the list of Blogger Embarkees: Charlene Li , Jennifer Leo, Jenny Lawson, Pamela Slim, Jennifer Van Grove, Jennifer Jones, Guy Kawasaki , Bill Reichert, Jefferson Wagner a.k.a. Zuma Jay, Robert Scoble, Andy Sernovitz, Andrew Nystrom , Dennis Hall, Captain (Mr.) Carroll LeFon, USN (ret.), Chris Pirillo, and I (Beth Blecherman).
Guy Kawasaki is the lead Blogger for our first visit, his second. He had the opportunity to visit the USS John C. Stennis last year. His post, " 26 Hours at Sea: The Longest Posting in the History of Blogging", describes his adventure. The picture on the left is at Garage Ventures when the idea for this Blogger's Embark was hatched (Guy Kawasaki on left, pictured with Dennis Hall and Bill Reichert).
Dennis Hall provided some information on what we will see: "Here is a shot of a scene you will see typically during your embark. It shows F-18 Hornet fighter jets arriving for landings or 'traps' in formation and individually pitching out for their descent to the flightdeck. The Navy Blue Angels fly F-18s."
Here is a subset of the group that could make an early evening meetup in Silicon Valley to discuss the Embark:
Pictured left to right: Dennis Hall, Beth Blecherman, Jennifer Jones, Robert Scoble, Charlene Li
CMDR Romuel 'Roy' Nafarrete, USN joined in the meetup
My first response to finding about about the trip was a flashback to the Top Gun song, while wondering what it would be like to fly on a Navy C-2 Greyhound and to spend time on the USS Nimitz. Then, while I still had the Top Gun song in my head, I wondered if I would get to wear a jumpsuit like Kelly McGillis.
Not the type of jumpsuit that looks like a Onesie, the cool kind.
Thinking about fashion led me to think of Michelle Obama, who shared in the Washington Post that "Supporting military families" is an issue "close to her heart." She continued: "See, military families have done their duty, and we as
a grateful nation must do ours."
After doing some research to prepare for my trip to the USS_Nimitz, I realized that the military is already actively using social media to enable communication between military families and to help those families find support organizations. So I set out to visit the online military communities and learn more about the USS Nimitz.
Silicon Valley Moms Blog Community & The Military:
I soon realized that within my own Silicon Valley Moms Group community, there were mom bloggers with ties to online military communities or those that had served in the military. Some are listed below:
Kimberly Petro (DC Metro Moms Blog and Petroville) is working on a project with her cousin Meredith Novario called "Now Serving℠". Her cousin is married to a Marine officer at Quantico. Together they are building the Now Serving℠ sites:
Now Serving℠, we provide social networks that are geographically
specific to world-wide military hubs. As the family of networks grows,
it will allow you to virtually experience your new duty station
before you set foot there, or to delve deeper into the community where you
already live. Each geo-forum will be filled with your pressing
questions, wisdom, shared resources and concerns as our models Okinawa
Hai and Now Serving Okinawa already do.
Some other DC Metro Moms Bloggers are Stephanie (LawyerMama), who is of Blue Star Families.org and Devra from Parentopia.com who's husband is Active Duty Air Force. Devra consults for a
program serving military families for Zero To Three
(www.zerotothree.org/military) and blogs for Blue Star Families as well! Jess M. was in the army from 2001-2004. Her personal blog is A hug around the neck.
Darryle from Silicon Valley Moms Blog has a daughter who is married to a soldier my son in law is traveling back to Iraq right now for his second deployment for another year. Alix, who also blogs for Silicon Valley Moms Blog, has a good mom friend Loree Hirschman that was not only in the first class
of female navy fighter pilots and wrote a fabulous book about it, but also is VP at military.com (and married to another navy fighter pilot).
Social Media and The Military:
I found numerous other social media sites related to the military:
Alltop (aggregates many sites in one source): Military Alltop
I know there are much more online sites that I will be finding along the way.
Finally, I will be asking children I know and would like to open it up to my readers for any questions about the USS Nimitz they may have. For example, I discussed with my sons the physics of how they move the Nimtiz two standard Navy Stockless anchors with chains each weighing 60,000 pounds. The chain totals 1,080 feet in length. I will be watching the PBS series "Carrier" to learn more, which I found from reading Charlene Li's post about our USS Nimitz Embark.