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(News.com.au)   US Army apologises for mistakenly sending 7,000 "Dear John" letters   (news.com.au) divider line 79
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15096 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Jan 2009 at 6:16 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-01-07 05:31:39 PM
Dear John stickandballguy.com
 
2009-01-07 06:14:08 PM
7000?

/ugh
 
2009-01-07 06:19:26 PM
FTF(Reuters)A:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army apologized on Wednesday for sending 7,000 letters addressed to "Dear John Doe" to the relatives of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The letters, printed by a contractor and mailed in December, were intended to inform family members about private organizations that offer assistance to those who have lost relatives in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Army said the letters should have contained specific salutations and addresses, instead of the anonymous greeting. It blamed a printing error for the mix-up.


There's your problem right there.

The military has even outsourced their f*ck-ups. Lovely. And you just know it was a cost-plus contract, too.

I'd love to know who the contractor is. According to the Stars and Stripes, the Pentagon's not telling. (new window)
 
2009-01-07 06:22:18 PM
General George Casey, the army chief of staff, is sending a personal letter of apology to each of the families, he said.

"Dear Sir or Madam..."
 
2009-01-07 06:22:41 PM
a deer, a female deer
 
2009-01-07 06:23:22 PM
Cost + Cost of MS Word Mail-Merge class = Eleventy billion dollars

/At least it wasn't OVER 9000 BAD LETTERS!!!one!111!
 
2009-01-07 06:24:08 PM
Ray, a drop of golden sun...
 
2009-01-07 06:25:41 PM
www.cfhf.net

/Obscure?
 
2009-01-07 06:26:56 PM
mlcolosimo: /Obscure?

I remember that show! It sucked.
 
2009-01-07 06:27:03 PM
Me, a name I call myself
 
FNG [TotalFark]
2009-01-07 06:27:10 PM
I'll take "A very special kind of stupid" for $1000, Alex.
 
2009-01-07 06:28:31 PM
Could be worse. They could have sent out 7,000 "Dear Sucker" letters.
 
2009-01-07 06:29:20 PM
Oops. Someone's gonna be on the shiat list for this one
 
2009-01-07 06:29:37 PM
Were those letters hand written by President Bush and Vice President Cheney?
 
2009-01-07 06:30:39 PM
General George Casey, the army chief of staff, is sending a personal letter of apology to each of the families, he said.


Yeah, like He is going to do this himself... 7000 letters?
 
2009-01-07 06:31:22 PM
www.combineworld.com
 
2009-01-07 06:32:52 PM
There is good reason that the phrase "Charlie Foxtrot" originated in the military.
 
2009-01-07 06:33:10 PM
www.edu.nacka.se

/One a dem "Dear Babe" letters.
 
2009-01-07 06:34:52 PM
MailMerge Fail.
 
2009-01-07 06:36:01 PM
orat-on-a-stick: General George Casey, the army chief of staff, is sending a personal letter of apology to each of the families, he said.


Yeah, like He is going to do this himself... 7000 letters?


I bet when he said that his secretary said to herself Oh Frak.

on a side note

Though the sound of music was good when Julie Andrews played Mary Poppins back in the day, I would tap that like there is no tommrrow.
www.solarnavigator.net
 
2009-01-07 06:37:11 PM
mlcolosimo: /Obscure?

Not in the slightest...
 
2009-01-07 06:38:48 PM
Did I miss something?

When did 7,000 troops get killed?
 
2009-01-07 06:39:45 PM
jake_lex: Were those letters hand written by President Bush and Vice President Cheney?

Crayola will never go out of business with those two writing letters, nor are all the trees in the Pacific NW safe...
 
2009-01-07 06:43:37 PM
Jesus. This is some kind of Epic Fail. Especially considering that the letters were sorted prior to delivery. At some point, some pair of eyes had to at least glance at one of them. Wow. Also, how perfectly cynical is using "John Doe" as a placeholder for a real name? Awesome.
 
2009-01-07 06:45:38 PM
Subby, a dear john (new window) is not what they sent, however, it is a criminal act to begin any rumors or propaganda that demoralizes our troops.
see UCMJ (new window)re" false official statements, or rumors and propaganda.
 
2009-01-07 06:46:07 PM
RQB1018: Did I miss something?

When did 7,000 troops get killed?


I was thinking the same thing..........
 
2009-01-07 06:46:13 PM
RQB1018: Did I miss something?

When did 7,000 troops get killed?


What I heard was that the official number doesn't include soldiers who die from their wounds after they're removed from the battlefield, but I can't say for sure (I don't work for the military).

And for those of you wondering how easily this sort of screw-up could happen to any other large organization, I present the tale of The Great 8 Report (new window).
 
2009-01-07 06:46:30 PM
RQB1018: Did I miss something?

When did 7,000 troops get killed?



Maybe the contractor got a performance bonus for 'early delivery'.
 
2009-01-07 06:49:41 PM
4000 soldiers can have 7000 relatives.
 
2009-01-07 06:52:39 PM
The Army said the letters should have contained specific salutations and addresses, instead of the anonymous greeting. It blamed a printing error for the mix-up.

See, here's a job they should have put the OverZealous staffer on because he would never have made that mistake.
 
2009-01-07 06:53:30 PM
The way I read the article, it sounds like none of the families are actually angry about the mix up. Then again, it's the armed forces, and we all know about their love of self-flagellation.
 
2009-01-07 06:54:24 PM
Just a freudian slip - at least they changed it from the original, Dear provider of anonymous cannon fodder...
 
2009-01-07 06:55:56 PM
Some day, military families will realize they've been jerked around for at least two or three generations. This will have a greater effect than other forms of propaganda.
 
2009-01-07 06:56:46 PM
ajinbc: RQB1018: Did I miss something?

When did 7,000 troops get killed?

I was thinking the same thing..........


Maybe they used a "Street Value" estimate.
4000 troops are worth 7000 on the street.
 
2009-01-07 06:57:44 PM
GrumpyOldFool: RQB1018: Did I miss something?

When did 7,000 troops get killed?


Maybe the contractor got a performance bonus for 'early delivery'.


CNN has a better article which explains this. What happened was letters were sent to also secondary contacts for the soldiers. That can easily lead to 7000+ letters being sent.
 
2009-01-07 07:00:48 PM
Far, a long long way to run
 
2009-01-07 07:01:19 PM
upload.wikimedia.org

I have here a very unnecessary letter, written to a Mrs. Bixby in Boston. "Dear Madam: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have not died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to make up for this giant farking screw up. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the fact that this administration is almost over. I pray that our heavenly Father may persuade you to not file suit or attempt to contact the media, and leave you only the fact that the government has sovereign immunity for any type of fark up we may have committed and the solemn anger that must be yours to have endured so costly a mistake at the altar of freedom. Yours very sincerely and respectfully, Abraham Lincoln."


That letter is in transit. We are gonna send somebody to find it. And we are gonna get it the Hell... outta that mailbox.
 
2009-01-07 07:01:29 PM
As a military Contractor I find these accusations wild and unfounded. Point your pitchforks and torches elsewhere mob.
 
2009-01-07 07:03:32 PM
Dear ________,

Words cannot express my profound sadness to learn that your [son/daughter] was [killed/wounded/missing in action]


Awful.
 
2009-01-07 07:04:54 PM
So, we can send them off to die and to kill but we get all excited when there is a mail-merge error...
Mmmkay...

/can I go to the Sane Planet now?
 
2009-01-07 07:05:28 PM
haemaker: 4000 soldiers can have 7000 relatives.

That's just great and all, but if this happened to all 4000, wouldn't we have heard about it, I dunno, maybe 6 years ago or so?

It's not like they're sending these things to everyone's great aunt Mabel; they send them to "next of kin."
 
2009-01-07 07:07:44 PM
epyonyx: CNN has a better article which explains this. What happened was letters were sent to also secondary contacts for the soldiers. That can easily lead to 7000+ letters being sent.

Yeah, but hasn't it taken a few years to get to the 4000 or so deaths? I mean, they didn't notice this earlier?
 
2009-01-07 07:09:22 PM
IAmRight: epyonyx: CNN has a better article which explains this. What happened was letters were sent to also secondary contacts for the soldiers. That can easily lead to 7000+ letters being sent.

Yeah, but hasn't it taken a few years to get to the 4000 or so deaths? I mean, they didn't notice this earlier?


As I read it on CNN, they were all sent in December at once. Link (new window) goes to the article.
 
2009-01-07 07:17:27 PM
vudukungfu: Subby, a dear john (new window) is not what they sent, however, it is a criminal act to begin any rumors or propaganda that demoralizes our troops.
see UCMJ (new window)re" false official statements, or rumors and propaganda.


I'd like to see the DOJ try and prosecute that.

Seriously.

"Your honor, the defendant is responsible for slandering the military's reputation on the internet."
"What did he do?"
"He said that the Pentagon broke up 7,000 servicemembers' relationships."

/*Judicial Biatchslap*
 
2009-01-07 07:19:49 PM
Good old General George Casey, Jr. How this guy ever got four stars is beyond me. Where this guy goes, king hell farkups follow.

General Casey previously served as Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq from June 2004 to February 8, 2007. On February 1, 2007, after Casey testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain "criticized Casey for what he called misjudgments about the prospects for progress toward stabilizing Iraq during his tenure. McCain said he has 'strong reservations' about Casey's nomination to become Army chief of staff and said that 'things have gotten markedly and progressively worse' during his watch.

The neocons wanted General Ricardo Sanchez for chief of staff of the Army, but he had only three stars and would have had to go
through a Congressional confirmation hearing, which would have brought his brilliant work at the Abu Gharib prison up in the run up to the last elections. So we got Casey, who already had four stars, instead.

Didn't take him too long to start farking up again, did it?
 
2009-01-07 07:24:19 PM
Americans don't apologise for anything!

We might apologize. But, eh, we probably won't do that either. USA! USA! WOOOOOOOOO
 
2009-01-07 07:26:09 PM
vudukungfu: Subby, a dear john (new window) is not what they sent, however, it is a criminal act to begin any rumors or propaganda that demoralizes our troops.
see UCMJ (new window)re" false official statements, or rumors and propaganda.


FYI, those of us who happen to be normal civilian-types aren't subject to the UCMJ.
 
2009-01-07 07:28:52 PM
AnubisMan: As a military Contractor I find these accusations wild and unfounded. Point your pitchforks and torches elsewhere mob.

This isn't about guns or oil, so I'm sure they didn't pay that much attention to who they hired.

I'm sure you're good at your job, but my sis is a civilian employee in the AF and morans at Northrop-Grumman are always farking up simple things, paperwork type things. The problem is that it ends up snowballing into a huge problem that's not discovered until 6 months later.
 
2009-01-07 07:31:43 PM
Sew: a needle pulling thread.
 
2009-01-07 07:39:18 PM
The Army is just planning ahead. nothing wrong with that.
 
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