The Army said Friday it would apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

The letters were sent a few days after Christmas to more than 5,100 Army officers who had recently left the service. Included were letters to about 75 officers killed in action and about 200 wounded in action.

“Army personnel officials are contacting those officers’ families now to personally apologize for erroneously sending the letters,” the Army said in a brief news release issued Friday night.

Mistakes happen. This was a big mistake, but still just a mistake. However, now that I know that they sent letters to 5,100 retired officers asking them to re-enlist, I think I have an answer to Blanche Lincoln’s question:

Senator Blanche Lincoln, an Arkansas Democrat at the meeting, said an increase in troops would face considerable scrutiny in Congress from Democrats and Republicans.

“I asked the president, ‘Where would that surge come from?’ ” Ms. Lincoln said. “He said that was a very good question.”


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