Doonesbury creator starts military blog

NEW YORK (AP) -- Though often bitterly critical of the war on Iraq in his comic strip "Doonesbury," creator Garry Trudeau now is offering readers a chance to get a closer, mostly unfiltered view of troops' experiences in their own words.

"The Sandbox," a new addition to his Doonesbury Web site, lets viewers read the comments of service members. It's a version of a military blog - one of many that already are available on the Web.

"This is GWOT-lit's forward position, offering those in-country a chance to share their experiences and reflections with the rest of us," Trudeau writes, using an acronym for the "Global War on Terror."

He wrote that he hopes to let readers see "the unclassified details of deployment - the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd." He said the postings will be "lightly edited."

Recent postings came from an injured soldier who, while on leave in the states, met the crew chief who evacuated him; a sailor stationed in Afghanistan who complained that most Americans "look at this war as little more than a television event"; and a soldier on leave who was slipped a $100 bill by a passer-by (the soldier tried to give it back and wrote that she plans to donate the money to the Army Emergency Relief Fund).

Many of the postings on "The Sandbox" provide a link to the service member's own blog.

Other military blogs touch on a wide array of commentary from service members, some of it supportive of the war, some critical and others simply detailing military life. Many provide photos, videos or a chance to comment or communicate with the blogger.

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