"The Blog of War" book cover

Front-Line Dispatches from Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan

Matthew Currier Burden

Simon & Schuster, 2006

ISBN 0-7432-9418-1

304 pages

$15.00 (paperback)

Reviewed by: Patrick Thomas

intro | ch1 | ch2 | ch3 | ch4 | ch5 | ch6 | ch7 | ch8 | epilogue

Chapter 1

"Some Must Go Fight the Dragons"

In Chapter 1, Burden details the responses of military personnel, their friends, and their families to the initial calls for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Beginning with a personal account of his colleague’s departure for Iraq, Burden continues with six excerpts from soldiers’ accounts of their enlistments into the Armed Forces, most of whom signed on to fight in reaction to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Here, the soldiers provide justifications for their own enlistments (or re-enlistments) that are both familiar and new to readers. These bloggers reflect on their decisions to enlist in letters to their families, rationalizing their decisions based on their call to duty, their love for family and God, their need to participate in democracy, and their belief in the power of the individual to impact the world. The collection continues with narrative accounts of days prior to departure--saying goodbye to families and friends, finalizing plans, tying up last minute loose ends prior to departure, and easing anxieties of those left behind during lengthy deployments.  Burden also includes blog excerpts from spouses and parents who witness the soldiers’ departures.