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Saturday, October 11, 2003

From this morning’s Olympia, Washington Olympian, Many Soldiers, Same Letter:

The Olympian recently received the two letters, pictured above, from Olympia area soldiers.
The paper describes the letters as identical and says that they appear to be part of a campaign to present a positive picture of the US occupation. Ledyard King of the Gannett News Service reports:

Letters from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country as U.S. public opinion on the mission sours.
And all the letters are the same.
A Gannett News Service search found identical letters from different soldiers with the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, also known as "The Rock," in 11 newspapers, including Snohomish, Wash.
Sgt. Shawn Grueser of Poca, W.Va., said he spoke to a military public affairs officer whose name he couldn't remember about his accomplishments in Iraq for what he thought was a news release to be sent to his hometown paper in Charleston, W.Va. But the 2nd Battalion soldier said he did not sign any letter.
Although Grueser said he agrees with the letter's sentiments, he was uncomfortable that a letter with his signature did not contain his own words or spell out his own accomplishments.

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