BWE2009: The Panels
Despite the Valium hazed flight from Kansas City to Memphis (?!?) then on to Vegas, I arrived in one piece around 2200. Waiting at the hotel for me was none other than Tammy Munson. We ran up to our room so I could drop my bags and then headed out on the town in search of a late dinner. We settled down at the Bellagio then slowly made our way back to the room. Both of us fell immediately into a blissful slumber around 0300. Ouch. Considering we had to be up at the crack of dawn to make it to the conference.
I met BarmyMama in our hotel lobby and instantly adored her: a former Marine and one helluva Army Wife, she’s a doll. Once we arrived at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the expo, we set up in the MilBlog room and I finally met Laughing Wolf of Blackfive. A quick glance at Twitter, I read that Bouhammer was in line to check in at the conference. HOLY CRAP! I was so excited to meet this dude! Unfortunately for him, but very fortunate for me… he brought the lovely Mrs. Bouhammer and poor Bou became part of the background noise (kidding! I totally adored him too!)
Way too quickly our time of socializing ended and it was time to accomplish the things we were there to work on. First up, Tammy Munson, BarmyMama and I took to the microphones. The panel went by too quickly. Things we discussed: Obviously, our own websites and what our mission is. Suggestions were made regarding a dedicated blogger for each squadron (or comparable unit for the other services) on the squadron website where spouses could access up-to-date information that has already been filtered by the commander. We discussed OPSEC and what it means to us individually, of course, each of us having a different view. We discussed the role of military wives and how our little community works as a family. Each of us shared our best and worst blog moments… which was interesting. Tammy is still feeling the backlash of her controversial post. I also talked about how ironic it was that when you have a baby, there are a million books on What to Expect When You’re Expecting… but when you marry into the military, there really isn’t a great resource we can go to. Tammy, BarmyMama and I all think it’d be a great idea to have a Mandatory Fun event for new wives as part of in- processing. A Boot Camp, if you will.
The rest of the panels were very informative as well. During the Best MilBlogs You’ve Never Read, were some of my favorite people! (Okay, there wasn’t a single person there that I didn’t consider one of my favorite people). Featured was Greyhawk and Maj. Chuck Ziegenfuss (one of the funniest dang people I’ve ever met!), Jihad Gene and Toby Nunn. For the record… if you’re military and you aren’t reading these websites, you should.
Cdr. Phibian Salamander sat all by his lonesome for his panel (and I didn’t get a picture of him!) An awesome representation of the Navy!
Of course, the day would not be complete without a little humor. Blackfive, Bouhammer, CJ Grisham and Scott Henderson had great information about the future of social media and MilBlogging. The entire panel was recorded live through YouServe. Check it out and listen to the show!
A special thanks to Laughing Wolf, who made all of this possible. Laughing Wolf is one of the kindest, warmest people who seriously knows how to make someone feel welcome. Mr. Wolf (not to be confused with Laughing Wolf) was also a great guy regardless of his penchant for sneaking up on people, thanks for everything buddy! Another special thanks for Bouhammer for bringing the Mrs.. It was a pleasure to meet both of you!
I may be back to share some stories about the nightlife and fine-tune the impression I want you to have of these fine individuals (because they’re all excellent people and I think you’re life would be more worthwhile if they were in it)… perhaps I won’t share any more. I’d hate to start a war of pictures from the evening activities.
Again, thanks to the Army for supporting us and having such an awesome setup at the convention. Maybe next year the Air Force can participate!