Today, Off the Base is dedicated to those loyal readers and dedicated contributors who have helped the blog close in on 500,000 page views. Considering our humble beginnings, it’s quite an accomplishment.
To celebrate and mark the moment, I want to share a few of my favorite entries and some of the most popular since October 2010.
I remember as if it was yesterday when the blog was created. I was sitting in the living room of military spouse, fellow journalist and mentor Liisa Hyvarinen Temple. She taught me everything I needed to know about Word Press and then I dove in.
Number One – So, I’ll start the top 5 list with Liisa’s entry – a perennial favorite: What I wish I had known about military retirement.
Number Two – Dorie Griggs, a military mom, generated such a following with her insights into being a Citadel parent that she eventually created her own blog. Here is one of her more popular entries: The Citadel: Unofficial Tips for Families of Incoming Knobs.
Number Three – Fast forward five years, two kids and four deployments later! I have slept alone more often than I have next to my love. That sentence comes from the first contribution by military spouse Jackie Dorr who is not only a gifted writer but excellent photographer. Several of the photos, including the baby exploring the combat boot at the head of this blog, were taken and shard by Jackie. She’s also become a fast and dear friend.
Number Four – I learned so much about the strength required to be a military parent from my colleague at WUSF, April Agle. Her son joined the Marines and was picked up for boot camp two weeks before his 18th birthday. April wrote several blog entries. Here’s what she shared after receiving her first letter from her son Jared at boot camp.
Number Five – A former WUSF intern, Alex Cook, is also a friend and Army veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Alex has such a kind heart and beautiful photographic eye. He struggled to reconcile his experiences while deployed. He won that battle. He wrote several entries to help me and others understand the journey: PTSD: An Army Veteran Writes to Find Peace.
There are so many more people and experiences captured in the past four years. I want to thank all who have made Off the Base a success including the The Carter Center and the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism – you made this all possible. I am humbled and ready to reach the 1 million mark.
Bobbie O’Brien – the spouse of a veteran and daughter of a veteran.
Filed under: Military families, Veterans | Tagged: April Agle Marine Mom, Army Veteran Alex Cook, Citadel Mom Dorie Griggs, Jackie Dorr military spouse, Liisa Hyvarinen Temple, military families, veterans |