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Soldier Blogs

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have spawned a new kind of blog. Military personnel who have access to the internet have started the serous business of blogging their experiences, thoughts and opinions. Dark humor is a popular genre for many of the soldiers, while some maintain a positive tone throughout. Some of these blogs have become quite well known, even inspiring publishers to collect them for book publishing. Taking some, but not all, of the glory from embedded reporters, soldier blogs have revealed inside aspects of war time.

Many soldiers have been shut out from keeping their blogs after commanders discovered what they were writing about. Perhaps, because they are revealing too much, or they are portraying the war in Iraq in a negative manner, some soldiers get confined to communicating the old-fashioned way through letters. Not all of the blogs are negative or serious. Several soldier blogs are using the medium to post photographs of themselves, or the areas they see and patrol, with little slant one way or another. Many soldiers have also tried to counteract some of the anti-war sentiment with stories of glory and progress in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The phenomenon of soldier blogs is fascinating. They are blogging the war experience for the first time, with the Gulf War missing the advent of blogs by a couple of years. This unusual coverage of war is still too much in the present to be completely understood and processed yet. Unlike letters, which are usually only seen by a few sets of eyes, blogging during wartime has made the soldiers’ horrific, amazing or mundane experiences come to life instantly. Soldier blogs are also instantaneous translations of their experience. Letters may take days, weeks or months to come to life on the receiving end. The blog of the soldier shows the war in real time. Although many are focused on the blogs of soldiers at the forefront of danger, soldiers stationed around the world have started to relay what it is like to be in the military. Whether a soldier is in the line of fire or not, blogging has made it possible for men and women in militaries around the world, to capture and write about their experiences in a new and powerful way.

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