In yet another way the Internet has changed the way Americans view the Iraq war, fallen soldiers memories are preserved in their MySpace profiles and blogs reports the Associated Press.
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.
I am a paratrooper, that means that I jump from a perfectly good airplane into who knows what," wrote Millican, who was 20 when he died.
The Internet has allowed Americans to experience the in a very intimate way. Historian 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."
Although most soldiers are very comfortable with putting personal information online, the Pentagon has restricted access to MySpace and other social websites from Defense Department computers. Commercial or private computers are exempt and can use Internet cafes or commercial connections to maintain their profiles from Iraq and Afghanistan.
MySpace has announced it won't delete a profile for inactivity, and it also won't let anyone else control a deceased member's profile.
"We often hear from families that a user's profile is a way for friends to celebrate the person's life, giving friends a positive outlet to connect with one another and find comfort during the grieving process," said Dani Dudeck, a MySpace spokeswoman.