A Soldier's Thoughts.
February 7, 2007 9:52 PM   Subscribe

While there have been many posts on Mefi of blogs written by those affected by the Iraq War, I have not seen this one posted. No matter your stance on the war, your opinion of American soldiers, or the amount of other Iraq war blogs you've read, all I ask is that you at least read these few entries. I've used too many words already, when the journal does more than enough to speak for itself. A Soldier's Thoughts. (via) [more inside]
posted by wander (13 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Some more notable entries:
On Patriotism: Patriot
On the Looting: Some Treasures Are Lost Forever
On Making, and Losing, friends in Iraq: My Friend Az, Some Unfortunate News
Penny for your Thoughts
Show Me the Money

On coping with the effects of war: Sick with War
On the Fragility of Life: Fragile
His thoughts on War: War in the eyes of man
A page out of Joseph Heller: A Year to Remember
Lessons Learned
Depleted Uranium
The things you miss.
On "Victory": Victory Parade
A Question: I Ask You
Sand in My Head
Memorial Day
My Vietnam
Time Has Come

Various Haikus:
Rocket Attack
Still Alive, guess it is another good day
Just Keep Walking
Another Explosion

He also has a Flickr Page, with some excellent pictures of both Iraq and his family, and at least his story continues, as he was able to come home, unlike some of the others who were linked here before.

Previous posts about Iraq blogs, from both sides of the conflict.
posted by wander at 9:53 PM on February 7, 2007

I had not come across his blog before. Thanks for this post.

It seems like he's out of the Army and living in Florida. Hope he's been able to tear down those walls.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:42 PM on February 7, 2007

I enjoy these posts, and deeply appreciate them. To see the war through the keyboards of soldiers is valuable.

But to see war through the minds of great writers like Tim Obrien (Vietnam), Joseph Heller (WW2), or Eric Marie Remarque (WW1) gives the whole thing a depth that blogging cannot.

Great writing takes time.
posted by localhuman at 10:43 PM on February 7, 2007

localhuman: I agree with you that writing takes time, but there are different categories of writing that exist, like any art form, and I think there is also a lot of validity in the immediacy and short form of journals. I do think presentation also plays a small role, as well. I first read his blog posts in the linked Best American Nonrequired Reading, and when reading them again on a blog page, on a computer monitor, to compile this post, I was a little surprised at how they had lost some of their gravitas as compared to reading them on the pages of a book.

I posted this because it's the first journal from Iraq that I've read that really blew me away with both the quality of writing and the depth of thought. Also, some of the posts reminded me of Tim O'Brien's work, which was another reason I decided to put it up here.

Going back to the topic of things taking time, If you go through his journal, and read some of his more recent posts, you can see that these things are starting to ruminate more within him, and that they are topics that are still being turned over and evolving. Some of the more recent posts are longer, and have a markedly different tone and mood about them, and it's interesting to compare them to the older ones. I think, in time, it is possible that he could reach that same depth as those other writers, and because of that he will be interesting to watch.
posted by wander at 11:08 PM on February 7, 2007

Great writing takes time.

Time is a post-war luxury.
posted by srboisvert at 1:25 AM on February 8, 2007

Thanks for pointing out the blog. The comments section makes me want to poke my eyes out, as anything which attracts the hawks does--despite the very articulate and interesting comments by the Iraqi civilian posting therein.
posted by maxwelton at 2:45 AM on February 8, 2007

wander: i didn't mean to criticize this very well constructed fpp, or the writing that was done by the soldiers. I appreciate the work you put into it as well as the writing they did.

I guess I was commenting more about the nature of web-logging, and my own struggles with it.
posted by localhuman at 5:55 AM on February 8, 2007

I hope he makes it home safe.
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:56 AM on February 8, 2007

thirteenkiller, he already did.
posted by cgc373 at 5:59 AM on February 8, 2007

Yay I like when my hopes are fulfilled!
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:59 AM on February 8, 2007

localhuman: no criticism taken. I took your comments be what they seemed to be, a sort of thinking out loud. I've definitely got my own struggles with web-logging, as well, so I'm with you on that. I was basically agreeing with your comment as well, as I think being able to sit down and read a longer, less disjointed work like The Things They Carried is a very different experience than reading blog posts, having to dig around through archives, and having to deal with, skip, or ignore other people's comments. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

sboisvert: well said.

Hope he's been able to tear down those walls.

me too.
posted by wander at 8:55 AM on February 8, 2007

The greatest poignancy to me is that every human being who is put into that situation is profoundly and irrevocably changed by the experience and not necessarily for the better. We count the war's damage to bodies and brains, but not always do we worry about the psyche. Most of us have experienced on a relatively tiny scale the vastly larger conundrums he faced daily, and these have absorbed us for many days of our lives and have been difficult to exorcise. My mind fails at the psychic work that he must be investing right now and how difficult it must be to carry on a normal life while doing so.

posted by Mental Wimp at 10:13 AM on February 8, 2007

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