Army Sends 'John Doe' Letter to Slain Soldiers' Kin

Gen. Casey writes apology to 7,000
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2009 7:05 PM CST
Gen. George W. Casey Jr. pins the Purple Heart on Spc. Robert Winegar Jr., right, during a ceremony at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Nov. 17, 2008.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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(Newser) – The Army had good intentions in mind when it sent a letter to families of soldiers killed in Iraq to inform them of available services. Problem is, the letters to ease the most personal of sacrifices all began the same way: "Dear John Doe." Now Army chief of staff Gen. George Casey is sending a personal note of apology to 7,000 family members for the oversight, the Military Times reports.

The Army says a contractor made the mistake when it mailed the letters late last month. “There are no words to adequately apologize for this mistake or for the hurt it may have caused,” said Brig. Gen. Reuben Jones, Army adjutant general. Casey's letter will note that he lost his own father in Vietnam.