Hello, Faithful Readers. The last time we discussed Straight Talk on this blog, I was bringing you the news that the Straight Talk Forum had moved from Google Groups to our current home located at http://www.straighttalkforveterans.com. In June 2010 (in case you don't want to click on the referenced link) I wrote:
I have news. I've been telling you about Jim Stricklands' Google Forum, Straight Talk for Military Veterans since we opened it last October. It has grown tremendously and I'm proud to say I'm sure we've helped a lot of Veterans along the way. The beautiful thing about Straight Talk is that all the advice doesn't just come from Jim Strickland. It comes from the members. Veterans reaching out to Veterans and it's a beautiful sight to behold. The moderators, Jim, Womenvets, Painter &; myself have an easy job. We just sit back, approve new members, moderate messages and occasionally get rid of members who can't/won't abide by our simple rules: no bashing of other members and no cussing. Be respectful of everyone. How hard is that? We chip in and offer advice, too, but the board runs itself and isn't dependent on any one singular person. In my opinion, Straight Talk is an overwhelming success and I'm not just saying that because I like Jim Strickland and call him my friend.
Today I come to you with different news. We've outgrown our current location so we've decided to shut our Straight Talk doors effective June 10, 2011.
I want to thank everyone who has been involved in this project for the last year. Jim, Leo -- I couldn't have done it without you two. My thanks also go out to the "regs" who gave so generously of themselves to other Veterans. I appreciate all of the time that you donated so freely to Straight Talk. And to the (literally) thousands of subscribers, thank you for being there, day after day. I know who you are even though you never introduced yourselves. You see, I had access to all the names behind the scenes. I know who the lurkers are and I know you were there, reading and learning. To everyone who shared, you have my everlasting appreciation.
Not to worry, faithful readers. You can still reach us in many ways when you are in need of assistance. Jim has his mailbag open on VAWatchdogToday dot Org. To submit something to the mailbag, email Jim Strickland at Jim912@gmail.com.
If the mailbag doesn't work for you, Jim can be reached through his Q&A Forum on Stateside Legal at http://www.statesidelegal.org. Stateside Legal, if you haven't checked it out yet, is a terrific site with a load of resources for your every need.
And then there's me, Jim's faithful sidekick and partner in crime. You can contact me at WendiG@vawatchdogtoday.org . If I don't know the answer to your question, I'll point you in the right direction. I've found that Jim has answered most of your questions on VA Watchdog Today dot Org but most people just don't know how to do research. I know how to search for your answers and I'll be glad to assist you. You can also post your questions as comments to this blog and I'll be happy to post the answers here.
Jim and I are both on facebook. I haven't been keeping up with my page as well as I should lately so the best way to get my attention on facebook is to private message me. I'll leave it up to you to figure out how to join facebook and add the two of us as friends.
What does the future hold? That depends, faithful friends. We are considering other options but we haven't decided on anything firm. A lot depends on how all of you react to the closing of Straight Talk. Will you miss us? Do you want Straight Talk resurrected? How would you improve it if we brought it back? What changes would you like to see? Straight Talk was for you. Tell us what you thought was the best and the worst of Straight Talk. If we bring it back, we'd like to incorporate your needs, suggestions and ideas.
Keep your eyes on this blog and on the Front Page of VA Watchdog Today dot Org for further updates ... if there are any to be had. ;-)
Until the next time ......