A tribute to Our Milbloggers!!


Thunder6 at “365 and a Wakeup” has written an insightful commentary on how a soldier is affected by the war. He talks about how he felt weighed under by the “vice of stress” to the point that he feels he can’t escape the feeling. Then he shows how he pulled himself out of his own despair. Not to take way from Thunder6’s accomplishment, his method of self help is not an original one.

I have noticed that many of the blogs our troops write show great creativity in coping with the stress of war. First off they use a much recognized tool that mental health professionals have encouraged in their patients for years, journaling. A journal provides a release for feelings that are suppressed for years. They provide clues to our psyche of events that we may have long forgotten. Journals are also an excellent release of stress in our every day lives as we cope with whatever situations occur in the course of our lives.

A good therapist can use a patient’s journal to help them journey through the life events that at times can cripple one’s ability to function. They are an especially useful tool when the events are long buried and traumatic. Of course the patient must be willing to follow certain safe guards. For instance, when you journal while dealing with repressed trauma, you generally must do so every day. A quiet place that feels “safe” or comfortable is a necessity at times, depending on the trauma for journaling to be successful.

Then, you only write for about fifteen minutes a day. More than that can be over whelming. It can cause a flood of emotions or experiences to expose themselves. The objective is to pace the release of memories or emotions in a manner that they
can be dealt with safely for the individual. Suicide risks can become an issue too if too much comes forth too fast.

Then there are some other rules that make journaling in situations such as PTSD, long buried emotions, and memories useful that do not apply to normal journalism. One important tool is writing with your opposite dominate hand. This stirs the memory and helps us get in touch with the memories of what led to the PTSD or one’s present mental health crisis. [This may not be necessary for all people.] Once you feel the ideas and thoughts begin to form, then go to the dominant hand and write “free style.” Some businesses call this “brainstorming!” Write without regard for punctuation and sentence structure. The idea is not to write a perfect paper, but to begin to get in touch with one’s memories, feelings and thoughts that are causing us problems.

Of course when you are dealing with present day stresses, then the approach you use to your journal may be different. I personally find if I keep a journal on a daily basis while I deal with a
current stressful time, that it helps keep me from “stuffing” my fears and anxiety and dampens any depression I may be beginning to feel. Depression has often been said to be repressed anger. Often, situations prevent us from saying things we need to say for our mental well being.

Whether they be the fact that you can’t tell your boss to go to hell, or you don’t have the skills to discuss the situation with an individual that may be at the source of your stress, a death, divorce, whatever, writing down what you would like to say or what you feel acts like the “tea pot” analogy. When a tea pot sits on the heat long enough, the water will eventually let off steam to release some of the internal pressure. That’s why tea pots have that little vent in the top that you hear whistle when the pot begins to boil. It is a means of releasing pressure.

This same “tea pot” effect is a benefit our milbloggers experience as they write about their life and experiences in the war. Whether by design or accident, and I suspect in most cases it is by
accident as much as by design, our troops are performing two great services, one for themselves and the second for anyone who is not a soldier. For themselves, they are learning to take some
responsibility for their own mental health in a deplorable situation. Second, they are chronicalling for all humanity to read the history of war with all its evil, pain, suffering, atrocities, and events. They are providing a first hand “report” so to speak and a front row view of war never viewed before in history. They are making us participants in the war as they fight it. We are
experiencing firsthand the horrors of war and “man’s inhumanities to man!”

I personally feel this is a great tool to help make us all a little more reluctant to go to war. However, I also see it forcing us to look at what happens when nations refuse to get involved in
helping other nations when those who would oppress begin to climb the ladder of ascent. These chronicles of war show those of us willing to learn how repressive regimes, poverty, poor standards of health, and lack of education keep nations from developing to the point where they become breeding grounds for evils such as terrorism and future wars.

When developed nations refuse to recognize the futility of pouring aide and money into countries that lack good leadership, they are in fact aiding in the repression of that country. That money,
food, medical supplies, and other forms of aide never flows down to the people who really need it. As their plight continues to worsen, the poor leadership at the top continues to reap the
benefits and become even more greedy and powerful.

Reading the blogs of our troops and those of the Iraqi citizens gives us an accounting of the problems in Iraq encountered as we fight the terrorists and former regime members who want to return to power. They also provide us a means of studying what does and does not work. What we learn here can be a guide to help prevent more wars if we use the information at hand.

I have heard so much about the mistakes of this administration. Frankly, I applaud this administration for attempting something never done before that I am aware of. We are helping another nation regain its freedom and allowing it to develop into a nation whose government represents all the people. Instead of conquering we are rebuilding.

Of course as the Iraqi people begin to see that we have no intention of remaining as occupiers or conquerors but instead working to help them become self empowered free people who can control their own destiny, they will take more and more responsibility in fulfilling this goal themselves. But, as a repressed people they have to learn how to accept their own roles in this process. They have to learn how to believe in themselves.

The milbloggers are showing us a chronicle of this process. They are also showing us how soldiers can learn to cope as best possible with war in the process. Those like Thunder6 at “365
and a Wakeup,” Rustin Currie at “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum,” Major K at “Strength and Honor,” MDG at “Ma Deuce Gunner” are a few of these milbloggers who are able to share their experiences and chronicle the war with a skill that at times is truly inspiring. They have taken the simple, but important journal of a soldier, to a higher level that often puts professional journalists to shame.

This may be why the MSM speaks out so vocally and with such disdain about the milbloggers. While they have become roboton’s to conglomerate networks and editors who stifle their true journalistic abilities while compromising journalistic ethics, the
milbloggers report the truth and facts. Their only censorship involves security issues where the lives of the troops or innocent Iraqi people will be placed in danger.

I personally applaud and admire the milbloggers. I especially admire the tremendous skill and talent displayed by many of the milbloggers like the ones I mentioned above. They have created a new venue of journalism that is highly refreshing. The standards they adhere to are of the highest quality in most cases, in other words the exception rather than the rule! They show that journalism, while influenced by an individual’s own perspective and bias, can be truthful and morally ethical. They are restoring public trust in journaism that has been missing for quite some
time. The MSM would be wise to take a closer look at these independent “journalists” and do a little self analysis and house cleaning!!

devildog6771

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~ by devildog6771 on July 6, 2005.

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