Smitty's Veterans Day announcement of his imminent deployment caught some off-guard. After all, these wide-spread eclectic citizen journalists are keyboard jockeys, not camel jockeys. Smitty had confided to a few that he would be shipping out but was firm that he didn't want anyone blogging about it before the 2010 elections. Nothing, he emphasized, should draw attention away from the immediate task at hand: send Democrats packing with pink slips in hand as Americans toiled to begin a correction of their political course on November 2.
Smitty can ship out knowing that task was accomplished and that the blogosphere will be a watch dog to keep the mission on task.
His farewell blog told where he was going and that he would be on hiatus from writing for a while:
Stacy has greased the skids here, but there will be a hiatus in regular blogging activity for the Smitty portion of this blog duo at the close of this post. I hold orders to activate in mid-November and report to Kabul, Afghanistan in time for Christmas. Bandwidth, and latitude for skylarking online will not exist until the end of 2011.With an outpouring of thanks, good-natured jostling, and bids for safe travels, bloggers responded to the news that "Smitty" aka Chris Smith was deploying to Operation Enduring Freedom by doing what they do best: write.
Familiar blog names such as Fishersville Mike, Yankee Phil, DaTechguy, Little Miss Attila, The Lonely Conservative, No Sheeples Here, Point of a Gun, Red State Eclectic, Right Wing News, theblogprof, Troglopundit, The Frugal Cafe, Red State, Pirates Cove, SWAC Girl, and WyBlog and many more hung their hearts on their sleeves to salute this patriotic American. Who says bloggers don't have feelings?
In typical Smitty style, however, he didn't want the attention on him. As he wrote:
But don’t thank me; thank Americans, from the Founding Fathers forward to the Tea Parties, to my electrician brother-in-law who just runs around fixing things all day. The exceptional American dedication to individualism, the ideals of the Constitution, and the courageous soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in whose bigger footsteps I follow make it all worth it. I’ve benefited so much from the American people, educationally and otherwise. Thus, it’s with a sense of gratitude to you that I depart on this set of orders, finishing out my Navy Reserve career in active duty style.In a follow-up "thank-you" post, Smitty was appreciative to everyone for the "outpouring of well-wishing concerning the deployment." He added that his mother called him and broke down at the sheer volume of responses from the blogosphere. He deserved it. One blogger called him an officer and a gentleman. He's all that and more.
Thank you, Smitty, for your service ... and Godspeed.