Saturday, October 20, 2007
All Things Considered, October 18, 2007 · The Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau has never been to Iraq or Afghanistan. But for years, his strip has chronicled the wars in those countries, with the stories of characters like Ray Hightower and B.D. — the football coach and Vietnam vet who went to Iraq with the National Guard.
Trudeau's latest project involves real-life soldiers. Doonesbury.com's The Sandbox is a compilation of writings by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan that were posted on a blog at Doonesbury.com.
Trudeau tells Michele Norris that his goal was to provide a general audience the "flavor" of what life is like for troops overseas.
Doonesbury.com's The Sandbox collects dispatches from nearly 40 contributors. In all, nearly 100 soldiers have contributed to the military blog, or "milblog," at Doonesbury.com.
1st Sgt. Troy Steward, 38, is from Buffalo, N.Y. He recently returned from Sharana, Afghanistan. Troy reads a post titled "Lost Innocence," which tells the story of a young boy whose father has been murdered by the Taliban.
Sgt. Owen Powell, 40, is from Yellow Springs, Ohio, and recently returned from Iraq. He blogs under the name "Sgt. Roy Batty" — a character from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. He reads from "The Keep," a post about what daily life is like for a soldier deployed in Iraq.
You can listen to these soldiers' stories at NPR's web site.