28 June 2008

Latest Research Project I

While I am a historian, I am not employed as a writer. I conduct detailed research, but 99% of the time, am not involved in the writing or the final product other than an as an acknowledgment in a published book or article.

I don't think writers are superior to the type of historian I am; however, they are more often the ones who get noticed. I also have had my own qualms about my writing. I have never thought very highly of it but in the past 5-6 years, I have seen it improve and many have commented that it has improved drastically. I published my first full-length article a couple months ago and received several compliments--two of which were from very respected men. I was honored and humbled.

I found it very easy to write about the brigade in Texas. I was anxious to tell people, through words and images, about these men who served there time outside of France. I think that is what made the difference in my writing—finding that aspect of history that had not been written about a million times, but something that I could dig into (using those research skills) and then write about.

Recently, while using the Proquest database, I found a short article from 1918 heralding the exploits of a Marine aviator. The article stated that the aviator had been recommended for the Victoria Cross AND the Medal of Honor. I wanted to know a little bit more about this aviator so I checked our website to see what is biography stated—all MOH receipients are on our website. His name wasn’t there.

Why his name wasn't there and what happened to the aviator is just the beginning. More to come....


26 June 2008

Catching up

A little over two weeks after my last post, my Grandmother died. We were very close. Since March, I have been running her estate, working tons, finishing up the semester, traveling for work and playing nurse for my younger sister who was hospitalized twice. It's been a crazy journey.

On the professional side of things it's been busy as well. My article "Over Here: Marines in Texas during WWI" was published in Fortitudine and I am currently awaiting word on a proposed article about the Marine Corps History Division. I am hot on the trail of a very interesting story from the annals of Marine Corps history after running across a snippit on APS from 1918. More on that later.

I'm knee deep in two works on military history. I was able to hear Dr Jeremy Black speak while I attending the Society for Military History conference in April. His work Rethinking Military History is very good and I've marked the pages up with plenty of notes and questions. I am also reading Dr Williamson Murray's work The Past as Prologue--another interesting piece that gives me more background and understanding of the profession I have chosen.

Interns are back for the summer. I was able to chose my intern--an undergrad from Mary Washington who was doing pro bono work for MSG HQ on base. I lured him away with money--he wasn't getting paid at MSG. He is turning out to be a great help and very interested in the unique work we do in the office. If he was graduating next year I would tell him to be ready as many retirements are going to start and we are going to be looking for someone to join, in a junior capacity.

As I do not want to run on, I will leave things as they are and post this. As my research project fleshes out I will post it on here. Enjoy!