July 26 and the national website is back up.  I went to the forum for the outage and members are thanking the leadership for getting it back up.  What is the basis for any gratitude?  Speaking just for myself:


During these 18 days I have attended the airport escorts, wakes, funerals and burials of four ( FOUR !! ) fine American warriors killed in Afghanistan.  Two Marines and two Rangers.  All with no national support.


And two days from now I will attend another.  It will be my first Warrior’s Watch mission.  And it will be their first KIA in my AO.  That is a consequence of the website failure too.


Henry Lange, a devoted PGRider, asked a question of FaceBook (where we were told by leadership to go in the absence of the national website) that has been on my mind for two weeks:  “No site anywhere is down this long without being done on purpose. Why is it being kept offline?”


The National Director of Operations was not helpful.  Ignoring the question, she responded, “Henry, do you have some kind of proof that the website is being kept offline deliberately or are you just shooting in the dark here to create negativity?”


Remember, the national website was down for a week less than two months ago, so the national leadership should have been prepared.  Failing that, they should have been embarrassed, respectful, apologetic and communicative – but were not.


When it went down, the domain should have been pointed to a new host with a simple page of text providing mission-critical information.  That is not technically challenging nor is it expensive and it could have been done in minutes.


The failure of national leadership to react in the way I just described within minutes is evidence (1) that they purposefully (there is no meaningful difference between intention and incompetence here) kept the website down, and (2) that they breached a fundamental trust.


It would be catastrophic if it had been down for an hour.  It has been eighteen days.  Twenty-five over the last two months.  Funerals don’t wait.  Our sacred mission can never be compromised like this ever again.


Donald E. Russ

PGR # 16555