Pictorial response to John Kerry from GIs in Iraq-Truth!

A Pictorial Response From the Troops in Iraq to John Kerry-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
This eRumor is a picture of a group of soldiers in Iraq holding a banner with a message to former presidential candidate John Kerry.   The message is written with misspelled words and child-like printing, their way of responding to a statement he made during the 2006 election campaign.

The Truth:
John Kerry was not running for president in 2006 but he was campaigning on behalf of various Democratic congressional candidates for midterm elections.  On October 31, 2006, he told a group of California students that individuals who don’t study hard and do their homework would likely “get stuck in Iraq.”  It caused an uproar of anger from supporters of the troops.  The reaction was so strong that Kerry had to stop making appearances for candidates.  He later apologized and said that it was a joke that had gone wrong.  A spokesperson said he meant to criticize the president, not the troops.
Meanwhile, a picture started circulating that apparently showed American GIs in uniform holding a sign that said “”HALP US JON CARRY-WE R STUCK [the “K” was backwards] HEAR N IRAK.”

Meanwhile, there was speculation about where the picture actually came from.  An article in the New York Post on 11/2/06 said it may have been taken by a group of soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard in Iraq.  They quote a staff sergeant who said he recognized the insignia of the Minnesota National Guard in the picture and that he believes it was taken in Iraq because all of members of that unit have been deployed there.  ABC news said the picture had been taken in Talil in Iraq, which is where the Minnesota soldiers are stationed.
Updated 11/7/06