Last night, I helped the son of one of our fallen comrades start a blog. His father was killed in by an IED a few months ago in Iraq. He was in his forties, getting ready to retire, and had one last tour before he could come home and finish out a stellar career in the US Army and retire with his family for a life of traveling, vacations, and catching up on the sleep he'd missed for the past twenty years.
One single moment changed all of that.
His son emailed me.He wanted to talk about life after his Dad, what he meant to him, and just basically sort through his feelings. He'd done the MySpace and LiveJournal blogging, but really just wanted something that could be a personal journal, something that could be saved and looked back upon by his family someday. Something to remind his kids, when he gets old enough, of what he went through and what his dad meant to him.
I'm not giving the address out, because he doesn't want everyone to read it. Yet. Maybe someday he will. But right now, he just wants to write about his Dad and talk about how much he loved him.
Blogging is becoming a universal medium for expressing your feelings, be they private or public. I've learned on more than one occasion to not blog about intensely personal things, but sometimes you just have to get those feelings out there. For me, it's better to keep them in a personal journal, but for some people, writing them and posting them and then maybe someday sharing them with the world is a better way to go.
Blogs are not crap. Yes, a lot of personal blogs are still pretty rough, but they have one thing big media will never have: real people behind them, not some corporate style of writing. There are real feelings, real emotions, and real text not being dicated to you by someone above you in the food chain. You write what you want, when you want, and very rarely will you find as much raw honesty as you'll find in his blog and thousands of others just like it. I stopped blogging intensely personal stuff and focused on technology months ago, at least on this blog, because there's just too many people reading it now for me to want to share my innermost thoughts with the rest of the world. I already do that in my songs, so I don't need another outlet.
But others…other people need a place to share themselves, to detail their experiences, even if it's only for themselves It doesn't matter if there's nobody reading it or if there's thousands reading it; it can be whatever you want, and it can be on your own personal timeframe.
To me, at least, that's something to be proud of.