War stories in real time
Technology brings an immediate link, but also a surreal barrier, to the front
“It’s comforting to be in close touch with my family when I’m deployed,’’ the Marine Corps officer told me. “But the person they’re talking to on the phone isn’t really the person they know.’’ I had asked him what it’s like to be in combat on the other side of the world and yet to be able to communicate instantly with your family via e-mail, cell phone, or Skype. In previous wars, soldiers relied on letters. How have electronic media affected what soldiers and their families can say, hear, and understand?