(11/7/2003) Since the onset of U.S. Military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, many Internet tales have illustrated that, when push comes to shove, we respect our men in uniform and stand behind them. Unfortunately, most of these stories are written for a specific audience and quickly fall victim to the shortcomings of the 'net. This one is an exception to the rule... for now.
At first glance, this one seems very similar to earlier tales of patriotic airline passengers (Saluting Private Johnson and Flight Delayed for Soldiers). In those early examples, the author initially intended his words for a small group of friends and confidants. Since the intended audience knew the author, he or she did not include identifying information that would later be necessary to validate the tales. In the case where a person's identity is provided, we found that he only became associated with the tale through False Attribution Syndrome.
That said, allow me to offer this caveat about forwarding it. This is a very popular chain and many have seen it worthy of spreading far and wide. Often, comments are added that eventually become confused as part of the original message. Also, the author's identifying information is inevitably lost, confused or combined with the forwarder's identity. Before you send this out, ask yourself if you are prepared to handle inquiries from thousands of people who think you wrote it. Don't think this can happen? Ask Andy Nelson.
Break this chain by referring to web-based versions of the text, as it is much less susceptible to these pitfalls.
Category: Real, But...