‘Basebook’ helps troops link up on the Web

Far-flung soldiers can post where they’ve served, search for others

By SANDRA JONTZ | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 27, 2009

Seven degrees south of the equator in the middle of the Indian Ocean lie a sprinkling of islands known as the Chagos Archipelago.

Ever hear of it?

Well, for those who want to reconnect with buddies who were stationed at Diego Garcia, an island that’s part of the archipelago, there’s now Basebook, a Web-based application linked via the popular social networking site Facebook. The site lets members post when and where they’ve served, and search for others.

"We’ve found that this is really popular for spouses," said Basebook’s creator, Josh Kayser, who works for a company that helps veterans and retirees with their benefits. "We’re finding they are getting the most benefit, the ones most excited about the application."

With the frequent moves and relocations synonymous with military life, Kayser said he wanted to provide a way for members and their families to reconnect.

Basebook lets members post and search for others, such as those who served on the same bases, or who might share similar interests or military experiences, he said. Members can also set up their profile information to include which medals, badges and ribbons they’ve been awarded.

Since launching the service about three weeks ago, Basebook has amassed about 1,000 members, said co-creator Mike Knoop.

Viewers can log on via Facebook.com as long as they already have an account with the networking site, or directly at www.militarybasebook.com.