Monday, February 8, 2010

War Blogging?! A Glimpse Into Our Deployed Soldiers Lives

Imagine you are amidst a mortar attack. Shrapnel is flying all around you, your heart is beating out of your chest, all hell is breaking loose. How do you react? Blog about it?!? No that really wasn't the first thing that came to my mind either. But that is what the Air Force is doing as we speak. Obviously that example is a little dramatic but the military is deploying a couple military journalists into the field to vlog and blog their adventures to the world.

International Security Assistance Force Joint Command officials announced a new Web site Feb. 1 to support a public affairs project titled "30 Days Through Afghanistan."

The Web-based project kicks off Feb. 8 and aims to bring the people, the mission and the experiences of ISAF's 44 participating nations to a worldwide audience through the eyes of Tech. Sgts. Nathan Gallahan and Kenneth Raimondi.

You can read the full article here or check out the 30 Days Through Afghanistan website and watch a video here. This concept is really interesting I will be on the look out for content as it arises. I think that there is a dire need for the nation as a whole to better understand the nature of the military and what our soldiers go through during a time of war. How can we truly vote for elected leaders, who hold critical war stances, if we don’t even understand what their decisions mean for the 1% of our population who actually has to serve? Not to mention how those decisions effect the countless family and friends of our service members. Part of the problem is a general lack of understanding about the business of war fighting, but another part of the problem is a culture of secrecy by the government and our military around the nature of war. A close control of critical information is obviously warranted, however the general public has relatively little exposure to what a day in the life of a military member is really like overseas. How do I know? Because I am in the military and I have relatively little knowledge and media showing me what my forthcoming deployment will be like…..and I have first hand people to talk to. I think some of this secrecy might be attributed to our nation's history of wavering public support for conflict and the impact that has on our politicians reelections. Regardless most of our nation’s views on military life in a wartime situation are based more on Full Metal Jacket and Stripes than actual media and information making its way back to the states .

"The goal is to create a 30-day online conversation with people across the world," said Sergeant Gallahan. "We hope to raise an understanding of Afghanistan and the ISAF mission."

I think a project like this one is one to be paid attention to as it is not only relevant to military members and their families, but to everyone who benefits from the sacrifices of our troops.

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