|SFC Ray Reynolds: The Rest of the Story in Iraq|
|Netlore Archive: Emailed letter written by Army National Guard SFC Ray Reynolds while on leave from duty in Iraq notes positive developments in that country since the start of the war|
Email example contributed by DRB, 14 April 2004:
Subject: The REST of the story in Iraq
This is a letter from Ray Reynolds, a medic in the Iowa Army National Guard, serving in Iraq:
As I head off to Baghdad for the final weeks of my stay in Iraq, I wanted to say thanks to all of you who did not believe the media. They have done a very poor job of covering everything that has happened. I am sorry that I have not been able to visit all of you during my two week leave back home. And just so you can rest at night knowing something is happening in Iraq that is noteworthy, I thought I would pass this on to you. This is the list of things that has happened in Iraq recently: (Please share it with your friends and compare it to the version that your paper is producing.)
* Over 400,000 kids have up-to-date immunizations.
Don't believe for one second that these people do not want us there. I have met many, many people from Iraq that want us there, and in a bad way. They say they will never see the freedoms we talk about but they hope their children will. We are doing a good job in Iraq and I challenge anyone, anywhere to dispute me on these facts. So If you happen to run into John Kerry, be sure to give him my email address and send him to Denison, Iowa. This soldier will set him straight. If you are like me and very disgusted with how this period of rebuilding has been portrayed, email this to a friend and let them know there are good things happening.
Ray Reynolds, SFC
Comments: The Associated Press has confirmed that this letter was indeed written by Sgt. First Class Ray Reynolds of Iowa, who is not a medic but does communications work in the Army National Guard. Reynolds originally sent it out to 13 friends and family members with instructions to pass it on. It proved to be one of the more popular email forwards in April and May 2004.
Authentic though it may be, Ray Reynolds' letter has been criticized for certain inaccuracies. The information appears to have come in part from a USAID fact sheet but doesn't always jibe with what was reported there. Some statements, such as "Elections are taking place in every major city," are blatantly false. Others, such as "Girls are allowed to attend school," are true but misleading, given that girls were allowed to attend school during Saddam Hussein's rule. A thorough debunking can be found on OrwellianTimes.com, a left-leaning Weblog.
Sources and further reading:
Iowa Soldier Gains Fame for Sending Positive Iraq Email
Associated Press, 15 May 2004
Soldier's Email Says There's Good in Iraq
WHO-TV News, 13 May 2004
USAID Accomplishments in Iraq
U.S. Agency for International Development, 18 March 2004
Pro-War Propaganda from Iraq Soldier
OrwellianTimes.com, 26 April 2004
Last updated: 05/18/04