Thursday, July 24, 2008

With His Blog Kaboom, a Young Soldier Told of His War. Last Month, the Army Made Him Shut It Down. He was an unlikely warrior, this scrawny boy from Reno, Nev., the son of two lawyers, raised in the suburbs.
He had a way with words, this boy. When his Stryker unit deployed to Iraq last winter, he was a rookie platoon leader who had never seen combat. And like many other soldiers before him, he decided he'd chronicle the war on a blog. Intending to keep family and friends abreast of the follies and pitfalls of soldiering in a five-year-old war that now relies less on gunfire and more on diplomacy, this boy, under the pen name Lt. G, launched "Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal."
An indictment of the war it was not. Lt. G's dispatches -- at turns hilarious, maddening and terrifying -- provided raw and insightful snapshots of a conflict many Americans have lost interest in.
Word got around, and more and more readers closely followed the postings of 25-year-old Lt. Matthew Gallagher, with the site drawing tens of thousands of page views. By the time Kaboom went kaput last month -- Lt. G was ordered to take down his blog -- it had a following that would be the envy of many a small-town paper.
The blog's downfall was a May 28 posting that, in violation of military blogging rules, Gallagher failed to have vetted by a supervisor. (That the posting depicted an officer in the unit unflatteringly might have played a role. Gallagher declined a request to comment.)
The blogosphere, as it's wont to do, went berserk. ...
The content remains on an archive blog one of his friends created: The old blog site is now controlled by City Girl, Gallagher's fiancee, who occasionally pens updates on the Gravediggers. (Full story)

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