I was looking through old entries of Triumphs & Tribulations today and I was taken back to Volume VI. Way back in September 2006, I was involved in a car accident while riding shotgun in a date’s car. Somebody sideswiped her and she kinda lost control and sideswiped a fire hydrant. I came out of it with a bit of a sore shoulder and I likely missed out on a “night cap”. I told one of my acquaintances about it and he ended up posting about the matter on an Internet forum we were members of. When I logged in a few days later, I saw his post and how everybody was extending their well wishes…even the resident asshole and my archrival—a dude who went by the screen name of BlackAlty—expressed hope that I was OK and not seriously injured. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the MilitaryVibes forum.
How I first came across this moment? I first came across MilitaryVibes back in early 2004. My acquaintance was a member and while we were trash talking on email at work, he mentioned the site. I took a peek and decided to join.
What it meant to me then? My initial feelings towards MilitaryVibes were mixed. On one end, it was a military community with people from all branches of the armed services. There were even DoD civilians and contractors and retirees as well. On the other end, I was one of the youngest—if not the youngest—members in the community and one of maybe 5 people who were still teenagers at the time. I did kinda feel out of place with most people being in their mid-20s all the way up to the late 30s and early 40s. There was also the fact that most of the members were based out of Langley Air Force Base in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and had offline relationships. But overall, I liked the forum. It was better than BlackPlanet and CollegeClub. I was able to talk sports with other guys and I shared a lot of the poetry I wrote in my Age 19 year and into my early 20s. I really liked when the model-type chicks posted their photos. And who could forget about the real-life drama and real-life relationships and marriages that originated on the forum. It was mostly laughs on MV…like me always being BlackAlty’s target for criticism or the crush I had on smokin’ hot shorty named VirginiaSlim or the one time I posted altered images from that Portrait Innovations photoshoot—something that went viral for a couple of weeks through military email circles. I attended a couple of gatherings hosted by members in Warner Robins, Georgia and Fort Walton Beach, Florida. They were exactly the same offline as they were online.
What it means to me now? When I moved to Japan late in the Spring of 2007, my presence on MV scaled back. The time difference weighed in heavy on that. Part of it was also because I really got everything I needed out of an email group I was in called Da Wire, which was an offshoot of MV and consisted of members who contributed heavily to the site’s sports forum. I still keep in touch with many of those guys. In fact, a lot of them a part of my Facebook group, Da Wire: Sports Talk & Other Stuff. It’s not quite the same as it was for that stretch in the mid-2000s. Looking back on it a decade later, I miss it. If I’m being honest with myself, it was good times.