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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Colby Buzzell: Books for Soldiers and military blogs

Colby Buzzell is an author, blogger and Iraq War Veteran, whose book, My War: Killing Time in Iraq just won the Lulu Blooker prize. Reading his story brings home how after five years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq how little our nation has focused on the voices and stories of soldiers who serve.

In March 2006, Buzzell did this Washington Post Q&A with folks from all over the country. It serves as a pretty powerful cultural document of the 00's and a point of entry into his writing and personality.

One thing that stands out in that Q&A is how Buzzell mentions the organization Books for Soldiers and how important its care packages of books and reading material were to him when he was stationed in Iraq.

For an up-to-date account of the state of blogging among soldiers, fellow veteran Paul Reickhoff profiles Colby for Huffington Post and adds this commentary about the Army's current efforts to censor bloggers writing from Iraq:

When the most of the media was replaying shock-and-awe footage or regurgitating Pentagon talking points from the safety of the Green Zone, the best Iraq War reporting was coming from the troops themselves. Soldiers like Colby and Zachary were posting raw, first-hand accounts of the war: street patrols, house-to-house searches and neighborhood checkpoints. Their milblogs were a wake-up call: the Iraq war was being fought on a human scale, and with a human cost.

Back at home, Americans are finally recognizing what the troops on the ground have been trying to explain for years. But we're not hearing much from the milbloggers anymore, because the Army has been cracking down on the troops blogging from inside Iraq.

How ironic. The Army brass doesn't trust our troops - the ones we've asked to defend our freedom and sent to free another people halfway around the globe - to exercise their own freedom responsibly.

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1 Comments:

  • I noticed this quote from Kurt Vonnegut when reading Buzzell's blog:

    "My War by Colby Buzzell is nothing less than the soul of an extremely interesting human being at war on our behalf in Iraq."
    -Kurt Vonnegut

    By Blogger kid oakland, at 2:52 PM  

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