A quick note about the future of TAH

| August 8, 2018

Putting up that post about Jonn was the worst thing I’ve ever had to do.  I really did spend the entire night sobbing.  But you know how in the military things get stupid shitty and you have no option but to soldier on to the next task?  Well, I had to do that, to the best of my ability.

I’ve blogged here, or represented the blog in one capacity of another for 10 years.  Slightly over that.  We get so many lawsuits it would make your head spin.  Some you know about, some you don’t.  Because of one I had to take a hiatus from blogging.  Not because I wanted to, but because my employer was getting brought into it, and they justifiably wanted me to limit their liability while that was going on.  Some of you have seen the final judgement, and you know what my lawyers fees alone were.  I could have bought Peyton Manning’s house for about the same.  (And what I’ve received so far couldn’t buy a stamp.)

I kept my law license despite not really working as a lawyer because I wanted to be able to help Jonn and the blog as much as I could.  When I had twins this year, it was getting too much.  But I still helped Jonn and the blog as much as I could behind the scenes.

But I want to make one thing clear, in the roughly 7 years of representing him and 10 years of blogging, I’ve never received a nickel.  And I told Jonn if he sent me any money I’d kick him in the balls.  He graciously offered to pay my law license, and I declined that as well.  He did get me a wedding gift, and he bought me a kindle for my birthday one year.  No one else here gets paid either.  So let me put that out of your heads, we got nothing, and were happy with that.  In the future, we will get nothing, and we are happy with that.   When we did fundraisers, all of us would contribute our own money as well.

I had kind of hoped when I put up the post people would want to mothball the blog.  That decidedly was not your opinions as I read them, you want this blog….well, this COMMUNITY to continue.  So, for now at least we will make it work however we do it.

Yes, we took down the PayPal that went to Jonn.  But not for the reasons that seems to be popping up.  We’re trying to get Jonn’s name off all this stuff for legal reasons.  I spent part of the week with Jonn’s family, digging in his drawers, going through his files, talking to the funeral director, trying to arrange the wake and 15 million other things.  I took leave from work, drove 10 hours each way and did what I could to help his wife and kids.  And I will continue to do that.  Taking off his PayPal wasn’t an effort to get me off food stamps.  You can’t have lawsuits that go after his estate, wife and kids.  So I have to get that stuff fixed.  But I gave every penny to the family.  I’m helping them with innumerable things, that one is pretty minor to be frank.

Alas, on the list of shit I have to accomplish, figuring out the blog is SUPER low priority.  The family is my priority.   Jonn is my priority.  For instance, I know Jonn wanted his wake open casket and in his uniform.  Well, his uniform doesn’t fit, and is from 1993.  Thing looked rough.  Jonn wasn’t just a platoon sergeant, he was ALL OF OUR platoon sergeant.  So, my best friend and a commenter here went to Fort Useless (SP?) and got Jonn a new set of blues.  All new ribbons, new blue cord, new Combat Infantry Badge.  Because I’ll be damned if he’s going to his eternal reward in a shitty uniform.

I’m also planning the wake party.  The family is afraid that some turds would show up.  Probably a valid fear, since we have comments in the spam filter right now that would drive you right through the roof.  We delete them.  But if you live in the DC metro area, and you think you want to go, email me.  My email is on the contact us page somewhere.  We worked out a deal that it’s basically a flat fee, Guinness and other beers, and food included.

You guys have sent donations to the new donation thing.  I’m going to probably put that money towards the uniform (those things are expensive) and paying for the wake party.  Which is why you should come.  It’s for the community.  Now, it won’t cover it all, but we’ll figure it out.  And yes, we will take donations there for Jonn’s family as well, the lump sum thing is so the poor bartender we get doesn’t have to do 50 checks.

I take the blame for not being clearer about this from jump street.  And my only defense is I am jumping out of my ass trying to do a bunch of other things.  Like go thru Jonn’s emails.  Do you know that he has saved every email since 2008?  Well, he has.  And as I go thru them looking for things that need to be addressed I see a guy who loved all of you, and you guys clearly loved him.  It’s 11:30 as I wrote this, and my no shit bedtime is usually 7:30.  And I’ve been doing this every day since I lost my friend.  But I should have made time to explain to you guys what is going on too.

Short story, we’re hoping to keep TAH up and running, fresh content etc.  We’re not asking for your money, because near as I can tell everything is paid for now.  Again, no one is getting a dime of it, unless you count the beers you can drink at his send-off.  But please understand that not being forthcoming on everything is a two fold logic: 1) I’ve got Jonn’s family to worry about, and 2) Idiots out there will take advantage of the knowledge.  Also, frankly, I have no idea how to do this, I’m not in this position very often.

But if you have questions, concerns, or thoughts, by all means share them with me.  But my response may be terse.  Not because I don’t care, it’s just that my list of shit to do in the next 2 weeks is longer than a giraffes neck.

But we’ll get through this.  Together.  I know I don’t post much here lately (again, lawyers told me not to, wasn’t my choice) so you might not know me.  But Jonn trusted me enough to tell me he wanted me to keep the blog going.  And while I don’t really *want* to, I would do anything for Jonn.  So, just have a little faith in him and his judgement, even if you don’t know me enough to trust me.  I wouldn’t do anything to hurt Jonn’s rep or his family.  And I won’t do anything to take away your TAH family either.



Category: We Remember

Comments (37)

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  1. In The Mailbox: 08.09.18 : The Other McCain | August 9, 2018
  1. Dave Hardin says:

    I have no doubt what Jonn wanted to happen with this site, we talked about it more than once. I know for a fact that he wanted it to go to Mark and he was to determine the future of this site. Because I heard those words came from Jonn’s mouth, I will back up Mark regardless of what he decides to do. I will do my duty as I best know how until he tells me other wise. Thank you to all who have contributed thus far, hope to see you all soon.

    • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

      Indeed I know who TSO is, Mark is a New England boy and he and I have exchanged pleasantries previously.

      For me his integrity and character are, like the heathen Mr. Hardin here, above reproach.

      Not that my opinion matters at all…but I felt compelled to offer it as I often do.

    • SF CPT MH says:

      that is good to hear dave and i hope mark can take up the mantle. for now, we send prayers for the family and thanks to mark and our heart felt loss for jonn. may he rest in peace. mykel sends

  2. Deplorable B Woodman says:

    I won’t be able to come to the wake (Utah), but please post when you have it, and I’ll hoist one here for Jonn. SALUD!

    Being commo, I would attempt a joke about “radio silence”, but it would fall flat.
    This is kc7jds, out.

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    I can’t come to the wake, either, TSO, but you have my e-mail.

    No plan on my part other than to pick up and carry on, as before.

  4. old98z says:

    For those of us who can not travel to metro D.C. would you consider doing an open thread the day of the wake?

  5. Twist says:

    I wish I could come to the wake, but I am in Alaska dealing with some stuff.

  6. 26Limabeans says:

    We should all have such good friends as those that look after Jonn’s affairs and the welfare of his family.

  7. jim h says:

    is there any further that can be done from afar to help? Dave Hardin has my email (I’m sure yours is getting clogged up since it’s posted on the contact page), and I’d like to help how I can. let me know, no matter how trivial it may seem.

    thanks, and regards. give my best to the family.

  8. AW1Ed says:

    Thanks for the update, TSO, much appreciated, especially so for your impossible schedule. Of course Jonn’s family comes first.

    Dave is also doing the impossible holding TAH together, and I take it on faith that we editors are trying to help as much as possible, posting comments and providing grist for the TAH mill.

    For example, I edited the ‘Politics’ category from your post.

    Hang in there, TSO, you and Dave have my contact info- if I can do anything to help, please ask and I’ll do all I can.

  9. Commissioner Wretched says:

    Most of us may not know you, TSO, but Jonn trusts you – so that’s more than enough for us.

    Anything I can do, brother, let me know.

  10. JAGC says:

    We should all be so lucky to have someone in our lives like TSO. His actions demonstrate the true meaning of the Army Values as they all come into play here.

    Regarding the wake and/or party. The DC metro will be essentially useless. If anyone on the Virginia side of the river wants to carpool and/or share an Uber to and from paying respects, please feel free to reach out. Perhaps we can get a group? I hear the party may have some of that alcohol stuff. I’m happy to help coordinate these little logistical parts to maybe take a tiny drop off of TSOs plate.

  11. OWB says:

    Keep on keepin’ on, TSO. You are doing just fine.

    Right now your ONLY duty is to Jonn’s family. The rest of us can take care of our own selves. Only you can be the kind of support Jonn’s family needs today, tomorrow and into the near future.

    We got this part of it, Mark.

    • 5th/77thFA says:

      word. Much respect for what you’re doing. I’m sure you could contact any one on here or thru their e mail and they would do whatever you or the Family, Biological or Blogical, needed.

  12. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    ROG WILLCO OUT … see ya in DC.

  13. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Your doing the right thing for a good friend that we all miss, TSO. God Bless you for what you are doing and giving you the strength to get through it.

  14. Mason says:

    No explanations necessary, TSO. You and the other staff here have been doing awesome. I know Jonn’s proud he left things in such good hands. I sure know I am.

  15. JBUSMC says:

    Is there another way to donate besides paypal? I don’t do paypal. Or the credit card thing..

    • OWB says:

      Don’t think that is really a priority at the moment. Too many other things going on.

      The guys that run this place need time to focus on Jonn’s family. What the rest of us want can be a distraction which keeps them from doing for them. No doubt in my pea brain that if we give them the space to do it that they will get it all sorted out directly.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      You ask a good question. Some guidance would be helpful for anyone who wants to send a donation to Jonn’s family by money order. The address is easy. It’s the payor line that’s the rub. Somewhere along the way, this will be covered, JBUSMC.

  16. Skyjumper says:

    TSO, knowing that John trusted you so much, speaks volumes of your character & integrity.

    Family and friends are two of the most precious items that many of us hold most dear in the short time that we occupy this space in time.

    Take care of John’s family AND take care of yourself. With time and the great folks here at TAH, the rest will sort itself in due time.

    TSO, thanks for the update and especially, thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do. Also a big “Thank you” to those here who have helped carry the torch for this blog. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed.

    If there is anything or anyway that I may able to in some small way contribute towards making the load less heavy, please contact me.

  17. Boiling Mad CPO says:

    Keep on keeping on

  18. SFC D says:

    You’re a good man, TSO. Jonn trusted you, soI trust you. Echoing the sentiments of others here, Jonn’s family absolutely comes first! Us dickweeds and heathens will muddle through just fine, secure in the knowledge that you’re doing the heavy lifting. I have zero doubt that every TAH denizen would be there for the wake if we could. Jameson’s and Guinness will be consumed in honor of our Platoon Sergeant at D’s Cantina. And Dave, you’ve always struck me as a man who is slow to trust, but trusts completely and without reservation once trust is given. You’re doing a fantastic job of carrying the TAH torch and we all appreciate your fine work.

    Jonn was a one-of-a-kind man who will be sorely missed.

  19. Wilted Willy says:

    Mark and Dave, I thank you both for all that you have done and will continue to do. Please give my respect to Jonn’s family, my prayers are with them and all of you. If there is anything I can do from down here in Florida, just say the word. I love all of you more than words can express. This is the finest bunch of dickweeds I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. This has indeed been our darkest hour, but with help from all of you, we will somehow get thru all of this. Jonn was a great man and warrior. I hope we have this site for many years to come.
    Thanks again to all of you!

  20. Eden says:

    TSO, thank you so much for all you do and are doing. I know it means the world to Jonn’s family, as well as to us.

    I wish I could be there in DC with y’all. I’ll be there in spirit.

  21. Poetrooper says:

    Let’s not forget how efficiently Dave, Ex-PH2, AW1Ed and others have kept things rolling here on a daily basis since we lost Jonn. The rest of us owe them. Wish I could contribute to the daily feed but health issues are my necessary focus for the near future which also precludes my attendance at the wake.

    Mark, you are a true friend, not just to Jonn but to all of us who gather here. Thank you for doing what the rest of us wish we could do for our fallen buddy but are helpless to do for multitudes of reasons.

  22. bman says:

    I do not donate over internet. The snail mail address is probably somewhere on this site, but it would helpful to me if it was posted.

  23. Steve says:

    Mark, thanks for what you’ve done and are doing. Appreciate it.

    If DC wasn’t literally over the other side of the world, I would be there with bells on.

  24. Sparks says:

    Mark I want to thank you for all you are doing for Jonn and his family. It speaks volumes about you and your relationship with him.

    Whatever you need to do is fine with me, just ask and if I can help I will.

    Thank you as well Dave, Ex-PH2 and AW1Ed. All of you are true blue and solid.

  25. Fyrfighter says:

    Well, nothing for me to say that hasn’t been said above, but I guess it bear repeating. Jonn is a lucky man to have had a friend like you Mark! You do what needs to be done to take care of his family and yourself. Dave, Ex, and AW1ED have been doing a great job keeping things going here, and lets be honest, while it may be a little dangerous to leave this group to their own devices, without adult supervision for any extended period of time, we’ll make it through. If there’s any assistance I can offer from out here in Colorado, please just ask. Unfortunately, lie gets in the way, an I will not be able to attend for a number of reasons, but if you post the time/ date, I’ll be sure to hoist a Guinness and a Jamesons in solidarity her at the homestead. Please pass on condolences and best wishes to the family, and the same to all of you here.

  26. Red Ghost says:

    “Because I’ll be damned if he’s going to his eternal reward in a shitty uniform”.

    Thank you Mark for this and everything else. If you ever come to Northern California the beer is on me.

  27. farmgirl with a mosin nagant says:

    Just wanting to reiterate the offer of technical assistance from my husband – he’s highly experienced at systems administration and security and is happy to volunteer his skills or at minimum his advice if needed/desired. He asked me to convey this as he (and he has my full support in this too!) wishes to do what he can in the interests of maintaining this community.

    I can only imagine your to-do list must resemble Santa’s naughty list (albeit hopefully without too much crossover) so don’t take this as any pressure; just an offer on the table.

  28. Bill M says:

    Damn I wish I could come to the wake (WA State). Up above someone said something about an open thread that day. Like that idea.

  29. OldSoldier54 says:

    No worries, Brother.

    Wish I could go to the wake.

  30. Inbred Redneck says:

    Sounds to me as though things couldn’t be in any better hands.
    Thanks to all here who’re carryin’ on.