Fallen soliders MySpace profiles serve as everlasting voices





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 MySpace.com profile on Dec. 27, 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."...

Bob Patrick, an Army veteran who runs the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress, says, "War as we know it and as we're taught through schools, in most cases it's through the filter ... of a historian." MySpace pages, he says, "are grass-roots stories on the foxhole level, or the cockpit level."

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