I got a little caught up on work, family and the holidays for the past few months, so I got a little bit behind in an entry for the CEO blog.
I want to start off by giving thanks to all of our volunteers that work tirelessly to make WP-ORG the premier organization it has become. Most of the folks who make WP-ORG a world class communications medium tend to work behind the scenes. These are folks who moderate our 300+ lists and maintain a variety of websites, including the WP-ORG home page. We cannot do all that we have done and all that we hope to do without our moderators. I also want to give a special shout out to our 2.5 employees: Megan Klein, Dian Welle and Jack Price. Each provides a very valuable service that fills in the gaps that our volunteers cannot provide.
I am happy to say that we are getting close to migrating most of our accounts off our legacy servers. Recently, Warren Hearnes indicated we are approximately half way through our account migrations. Once this is complete, we can retire one of WP-ORG’s oldest servers. More importantly, we will be better positioned to roll out some long anticipated new offerings, including a web interface for our discussion forums. Many of you have asked for this, particularly since we have learned in 2013 about online privacy breaches fro major online providers. We look forward to offering capabilities that many of our younger graduates have requested.
One of my imperatives as a WP-ORG volunteer is to help provide online content for our homepage. All articles posted to the homepage have some connection to the Army or West Point. Every effort is taken to ensure that connection is made in the opening paragraph for all articles. Much of the process of gathering online content to post to the home page is automated, but a great deal is not. Somebody has to read all *potential* articles for posting to make sure there is a West Point or Army connection.
Generally, about once a week, one of the listed articles will be an obituary. Normally what I do is check to see if WP-ORG has already posted a eulogy site. If not, I forward a hyperlink of the obituary to Dian Welle, who builds a eulogy site on the same or next day. This week I received an obituary for a graduate, LTC Arthur O. Victor, from the Class of 1976. I checked and noted there was a eulogy site already built for him here:
I also noted that no one has posted any eulogies for his site, so I decided to check with AOG to see what activity was on their “memorial” site. At this point in time it is helpful to revisit a little history concerning WP-ORG eulogy and AOG memorial sites. Officially in the July 2012 edition of the AOG online publication, “First Call,” AOG announced it was offering memorial sites for deceased graduates and their families. Many graduates were aware that WP-ORG had been publishing eulogy sites since the late 1990s with over 16,000+ eulogy entries. Many graduates questioned why AOG was duplicating services WP-ORG had long offered and at a fraction of the cost. AOG’s reply was dismissive in that they felt that you cannot “memorialize” our graduates enough. As evidence of this, they placed a hyperlink at the bottom of every graduate memorial page linking both AOG memorial and WP-ORG eulogy pages for the same graduate. That has now changed…
When I went to LTC Victor’s AOG memorial page, I now noted that there were no longer any hyperlinks to LTC Victor’s WP-ORG eulogy page. More importantly, the button that appeared on the bottom of the page to link to the WP-ORG eulogy site has now been replaced by a “brick and paver” donation link and an AOG donation link.
Please be assured that while I remain CEO of WP-ORG, we will never solicit donations on any graduate’s eulogy sites. If any request for donations are made, they are generally contained in the graduate survivor’s obituary, which is re-posted by permission of the family. Our eulogy sites serve one overarching purpose – to provide a medium for classmates, friends, and family to honor our fallen graduates and remember them in a manner befitting their service. For all graduates and friends of WP-ORG who believe our approach is the best approach, I would kindly ask that you visit LTC Victor’s eulogy site (posted above and below) and leave a eulogy entry for his family. Take note of his accomplishments found here:
Feel free to leave any kind words to family and survivors here:
Again, thanks for your continued support. Without you, our loyal members, we would not exist.