View Full Version : Reservist’s sign was innocuous, mother says

04-23-04, 06:33 AM
April 22, 2004

Reservist’s sign was innocuous, mother says

Associated Press

HOUMA La. — The mother of a Marine reservist being investigated because of a photograph circulating on the Internet says he sent her the picture last year, and it showed a very different sign than those on the Internet.
However, Ellen Gustafson, who runs a computer store, said she cannot prove it because lightning destroyed the computer where she had stored pictures sent from Iraq by her son, Lance Cpl. Ted J. Boudreaux.

“I had one of those cheap store-bought surge protectors,” she said.

Boudreaux has told Marine Corps investigators that someone had doctored the photo, which shows a reservist with two Iraqi children, one of whom carries a sign.

At least three versions are on the Internet. In one, the sign states, “LCpl. Boudreaux killed my dad and th(en) he knocked up my sister.” A second reads, “LCpl. Boudreaux saved my dad and th(en) rescued my sister.” The third states, “They invaded my country and all I got was this lousy sign.”

Gustafson said, “They were not the original. The original was in a group of photos he sent in the e-mail. It said ‘Welcome Marines’ or something like that. There was not anything unusual or offensive.”

She said her son told her he told investigators that the original sign said “Welcome Marines.”

Those on the Web were electronically doctored, she said, though she doesn’t know who would have done it or why. It was almost certainly someone who knew her son, she said, though whoever did it might have gotten his name from a caption on the original photo.

Boudreaux served in Iraq last May-September with the New Orleans-based Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines. He is from Houma — not Thibodaux as previously reported, his mother said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil-rights group based in Washington, D.C., complained about the photograph and urged the Marines to punish Boudreaux.

The mere suggestion of impure actions with a Muslim girl, critics say, would be enough to warrant severe action in the Muslim community.

Gustafson said she has seen ugly postings on some Web sites, one stating that Boudreaux’s mother should be found and killed.

“I have been living in fear,” she said.

Gustafson said a nephew in Houma also received a copy of the original picture. However, he would not talk about it when The Courier called Tuesday night, the newspaper reported Wednesday. It did not identify him.

Even if the alleged original could be produced, Gustafson said, question remains as to whether it could be proven to predate the allegedly doctored photos.

“It makes it rough when you can’t prove something,” Gustafson said. “I know in my heart what is true, that the pictures on the Internet have been altered. He would never send me a message like that.”

Boudreaux confirmed his mother’s account Tuesday but would not discuss it in detail.

“There is nothing really I can say,” Boudreaux said. “I will stand back and wait and hopefully let everything work itself out.”

The original photo was taken in the town of Al Kut, and his unit had friendly dealings with many children, he said.

“Plenty of times little kids would come up to us, we would be out in town or on patrol,” Boudreaux said. The reservists would give them candy and packaged military meals, he said.

Two years before he went to Iraq, Boudreaux was kidnapped and shot in a carjacking.

Dominic Robinson is serving a life sentence for shooting Boudreaux in August 2001, taking his customized Nissan Stanza and driving it to the Mississippi state line, where he let Boudreaux go.



04-23-04, 01:32 PM
Three versions? Makes you kinda suspicious, doesn't it?
Leave him alone.
Any of the three were pretty good signs, anyway. No sense of humor.

04-23-04, 01:38 PM
Using Windows Paint, you can change any image.
Anyone can put any message to suit them...

Semper Fidelis

04-23-04, 02:16 PM
Or photoshop or paint shop pro. To think that people think these are real pictures, is absurd. Like that picture of the man on top of the trade center with the plane flying into it. It is a fake.