The military and the government conjure feelings of secrecy and mystery. Many people who have made careers in government are privilege to top secret information. It is easy to understand how the public can romanticize this thought. When you think about top secret information images of action packed spy movies and government bashing television shows pop into mind. So when we get the chance to see into the lives of someone, who in the public’s mind, lives a fast paced extraordinary life full advantage of the situation is taken. In the case of Maj. Andrew Olmsted he gave us what we have been asking for. Publishing a blog online with new articles every week he talked about the daily life of a soldier in Iraq, politics, the war, and other personal opinions (Stelter, B., 2008). This new and interesting view of a soldier’s life and opinions earned Maj. Andrew a loyal following of fans. Unfortunately, on January 3, 2008 the Major lost his life to the war (Stelter, B., 2008). But, not until after he passed away did the true controversy begin.
Shorty after the Major passed away one final blog was added to his page. This blog was explained to be posted in the event of the Major’s death (Stelter, B., 2008). But, it was not a view of politics and the war that drew people in this time. It was Maj. Olmsted’s plain humanity, humor, and love of life that drew readers into his last post. He left strict requirements that his death was not to be used for political purposes, said his final goodbyes, and even said he would miss the exchange of ideas he got from blogging (Stelter, B., 2008). It is very saddening to think that Maj. Olmstead even though he is a hero his family now has to go on without him. His post-mortem blog brought national attention not only to his last blog but to his whole blog in general. Since his death there has been much debate on whether a soldier should even be allowed to have a blog (Stelter, B., 2008). Any online journaling must be approved by the military before it is posted online. Since Maj. Olmstead’s was approved the public’s outraged because his blog may be removed from the internet by the military (Stelter, B., 2008).
Stelter, B. (2008). Military man blogs about his own death. The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 7, 2008, from http://www.aol.com