That's what Tom Strickland named his live journal, One Foot in the Grave, a cheerful, wry, literate account of Iraqi life by a soldier known as REV Wayfarer.
His entries cover what you expect in a 21st century quiet boys life; travels, friendships, rants, enthusiasms, booze, babes, rock-n-roll bands, excellent reviews of excellent books and his occasionally breathtaking poetry. A sandbox.
But his homepage opens with the famous Woody Guthrie guitar shot, this machine kills fascists, and an equally promising note from the author:
A friend asked me to keep a journal of my tour in Iraq. He said he'd want to read it when I got back. I think he'll expect a recounting of days, a memoir of events and actions. I don't expect it to be a record like that at all. What I'm after is an outlet, an escape, a hiding place for the me that takes a back seat when I put on my uniform, when I wear the face of a soldier.
…Whether this and my paper journal remain an expression of myslf that is poet, critic, intellect, and humanist or they become the ritual memory of the me that is soldier, scout, trained killer, I can't predict. I expect what I write to be as full of contradictions as I am. I expect what I write to be warm, cold, complicated, simple, contrived, honest, direct and abstract. I expect it, above all, to be an imperfect reflection and expression of that greatest contradiction, humanity.
And this excerpt, posted 08/13/2005 at 19:00
Current Music: FUCK! my mp3 player is out o juice.
…What kind of fucktarded plan have we been half-assedly executing? Obviously the kind that neglects sound contact with locals. Obviously the kind that gives further distance to unbridged gaps between soldiers and locals. Obviously the kind that has shown enough weakness when confronted by the insugency that it has been encouraged to grow.
…Back home (the USA kind) I have no home, no job, and my commander in chief is on vacation (he's about 20 days behind Ronald Reagan right now in the race to become the most vacationing president ever. Hey W! we all got our fingers crossed! Here's to you and two more years of presidency…er vacationing!).
…In their fear to build relationships and get out of their hiding holes the FOBbits above me have fucked my friends and I.
We've just completed the first 1/4 of our tour. we've sent 4 of 24 members of this platoon home with injuries.
Thankfully we're not like another who has sent 8 home in body bags…but we got 9 months to go.
Stay true lambs,
And that's where it ends because the next day he died, 27 goddamn years old, fodder.
The site's still up, you can salute the war dead, post a comment or just read and cry: