Friday, May 25, 2007

Perspective: Iraq's war dead live on — online

Above: The MySpace page of Coby Schwab, who died of wounds from an improvised explosive device this month in Iraq. His last log-in was on the day of his death.

WASHINGTON -- Army Pvt. Clinton Tyler McCormick is buried in Florida, but his photo and his words are still online. They haven't changed since he logged in to his profile on Dec. 26, 2006 _ the day before he was killed by a makeshift bomb in Baghdad.

In earlier wars, families had only the letters that soldiers sent home; often, bits and pieces were removed by cautious censors. Iraq is the first war of the Internet age, and McCormick is one of many fallen soldiers who have left ghosts of themselves online _ unsentimental self-memorials, frozen and uncensored snapshots of the person each wanted to show to the world.

Army Pfc. Johnathon Millican of Trafford, Ala., wrote on his MySpace page before he was killed in Karbala, Iraq: "You don't have to love the war but you have to love the warrior."

Read the rest at USA Today