Since becoming a military mom, I find myself drawn to all things military on the Internet. I'm that way any time something tweaks my interest. Whatever it happens to be at any given moment, I dive in full force until I am so ingrained into whatever "it" is and have learned so much about "it" that I feel full and move on to some new interest. The combination of the huge American military and the Internet makes for a great, long-lasting, mind-tweaking adventure.
Having said all that, I am lately fascinated by the blogs from soldiers who are currently fighting in Iraq. Some of these soldiers are even getting wounded and it's all being written about, step for step, in real-time right here on the Internet. In the past few days I've been reading about a blogging soldier who was wounded 3 days ago...3 days. His wife has taken over his blog and has been giving a blow by blow as he is moved from Iraq to Germany and today (as in TO-DAY) to the US. He has even already been visited by another blogger who read about him online. And his wife hasn't even made it to his side yet. As I type this, he is being admitted to Walter Reed Hospital, assigned to a room, having all the his vital signs checked, having IV's started, being helped into backless gowns, all while I sit here and type.
I know this might sound gory, but this is awesome reading. This man's public diary is the kind of thing novels are made of. I don't know this man and will never meet him, but because of the Internet, I feel like I know him. Because he choose to make his war public, it has now become personal for me. I have a name to pray for specifically. I can read, in real-time, about how he is doing, what he's going through, how he is healing. I can sit on the sidelines and cheer for him without his even knowing it. This really brings the war home and makes it real. That can't be a bad thing.
All of the war blogs I've read are so enlightning, just hearing what these brave men and women are going through day to day is something we couldn't have imagined in wars past. It used to be that if someone went to war, even the family didn't hear anything from them until they either came home to a joyous reunion or a sad, sad ceremony. And some of the blogs do end sadly, with a soldier dying and one grieving typist making a last lonely entry to the website, or worse, the writing just stops. May that one grieving typist never be me.
We owe these soldiers more than we can ever repay.