Iraq War Veteran Launches Ordinary Forces Website to Publish Stories of "Ordinary" Soldiers

Top Quote Much emphasis is given today to the "Special Forces", however, before the Army was formed in 1784 there were only "Ordinary Forces." The website provides a forum to post stories & pictures relating to military service, regardless of branch. End Quote
  • St. Louis, MO-IL (1888PressRelease) July 14, 2010 - When James Toombs joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1979, he had not even finished high school. He was not anticipating serving in the Reserves and National Guard for more than 30 years. Though he has built bridges in Panama, flown helicopters in the first Gulf War, mobilized for Hurricane Katrina and deployed to Iraq three times, he still considers himself an "ordinary" soldier.

    In addition to his "part-time" service in the National Guard, Toombs is a full-time physician with the Department of Veterans Affairs in St. Louis, Missouri. "I interview veterans everyday and I am amazed by the stories they tell. This is part of our national history and it needs to be recorded before it's lost." That is precisely why he built the website. The website provides veterans a forum to post stories and pictures relating to their military service, regardless of their service branch.

    "We just launched so it's still a pretty small site. The first posts were about my grandfathers who both served in World War II, one in the Navy, one in the Marines."

    Much emphasis is given today to the military's "Special Forces", however Toombs asserts that before the Army was formed in 1784 there were only "Ordinary Forces." In the Colonies, citizens were expected to enroll and train in the militia to be ready to fight in an emergency. Early on, the mission was defense, primarily to provide protection from the Indians. During the Revolutionary War, these citizen-soldiers came from their homes, shops and fields to fight for independence. About 250,000 "Ordinary Forces" fought in the Revolutionary war.

    In time, the Colonial Militia became the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The United States Military is now an all volunteer force of citizen-soldiers.

    Toombs dedicated the site to a friend of his, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Young, who was killed just after they returned from a 2005 tour in Iraq. "Mike was a physician in private practice when he joined the National Guard. He just wanted to serve." National Guard members are routinely called to serve in the Global War on Terror. Toombs states "Nearly everyone I know in the Missouri Army National Guard has been on deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. Some twice or three times."

    Toombs notes "The United States is a country of more than 300 million people. We have just over 2 million troops in uniform. That's less that 1% of the country serving to protect the rest. That was Mike."

    There is no fee or registration required to post on the website.

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