iPods Give War a Soundtrack

Our playlists are for running; soldiers' are for shooting—or relaxing
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2009 12:50 PM CDT
Israeli army reservists listen to music on their MP3 players as they wait for the rest of their unit after reporting for duty at an army base July 19, 2006 at Beir Guvrin in southern Israel.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Thanks to iPods, the Iraq war has a soundtrack—and it’s different for each soldier, writes Jonathan Pieslak in his new book, Sound Targets. “People can put nanos in their flak jackets and they are ready to go,” Pieslak tells the New York Post, and CDs are popular in care packages or on the black market. And though soldiers might look uniform, their taste in music is anything but.

Soldiers listen to anything from Eminem to Slayer to get pumped before a mission, but may transition to country or gospel during downtime. “I had no idea people listened to country music until I joined the Army,” says one Cure-loving soldier. The downside? Music is unavoidable in stereo-ready vehicles: “You are screwed if you don't like what is playing,” the soldier adds. (Read more Iraq stories.)