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Nov 13 2007   1:23AM GMT

Overheard: The Sandbox is not child’s play

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

the-sandbox.gif “I didn’t write this to become famous; it was just to capture what I was going through.”

Sgt. Troy Steward

In summer 2006, the online magazine Slate, Doonesbury creator GaryTrudeau and editor David Stanford launched a military blog called the Sandbox. According to a recent Washington Post article, the project began with one of the more bizarre solicitations in publishing history — an invitation from a cartoon character.

Trudeau penned the words, “It was a dark and messed-up night,” in a “Doonesbury” Sunday strip, imagining a soldier blogging. In the next panel, B.D.’s cartoon comrade Ray Hightower announced the debut of “our command-wide milblog,” where troops could vent and rhapsodize, and folks on the home front could learn what is going on from their point of view.

This is quite a beautiful blog in a very sad way. The writing is quite moving, and as in Michelle’s emails, I’m struck by the juxtaposition of normal and surreal.

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