"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 7

"The Fallen"

Chapter 7 memorializes soldiers who have died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan through a series of posts from fellow soldiers, family members, and Burden’s own account of losing his friend. Through these entries, readers get a sense of how individuals search for evidence of details of their loved ones’ deaths through a multitude of sources, including final letters written by the soldiers, visits from those who worked with the deceased soldiers, new reports, and other blogs detailing combat operations. One post highlights a real life instance of kairos. A wife writes about the need to end her grieving over the loss of her husband. In recalling a visit to her deceased husband’s Company drill, she states,

Two wise men…said something to me that weekend that planted a seed. They mentioned that though Erik’s death is a part of my life it does not define it. I’m sure some of you have said this in those exact words or slight variations, but I was not ready at the time. And quite honestly, I believe only a soldier who was there with Erik could have said it in a way that could penetrate my thick Scottish skull. (p. 227).

The chapter concludes with an entry of substantial length narrating a Marine Lieutenant Colonel’s journey from Baghdad to Wyoming as he escorted the remains of a soldier he had never met to their (mutual) hometown.