IMAGE: National Guard soldiers and sign
In this photo provided by WTMJ-AM radio in Milwaukee, a group of soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard stationed in Iraq, hold up a sign mocking Sen. John Kerry over his recent comments.
updated 11/2/2006 10:20:44 PM ET 2006-11-03T03:20:44

A group of Minnesota National Guard soldiers in Iraq has made a comically misspelled sign mocking Sen. John Kerry's recent comments about the education level of troops, and their handiwork is getting plenty of attention.

The Massachusetts Democrat told a group of college students this week that people who don't study and do their homework were likely to "get stuck in Iraq." Kerry has since apologized, saying he botched a joke meant to be about President Bush.

The photo shows eight soldiers holding a white sign with heavy blue letters spelling out, "Halp us Jon Carry — We R stuck hear n Irak."

The photo has appeared in newspapers and on television newscasts and Web sites. It was apparently first posted on the Web by radio host Charlie Sykes of WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee on Wednesday. It was provided by a listener, the station said.

Capt. J. Elaine Hunnicutt, a spokeswoman in the Joint Operations Center in Iraq, confirmed in an e-mail that the soldiers in the photo were from the Minnesota Guard and that commanders see it "as a humorous response."

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, Republican Sen. Trent Lott said he felt for Kerry. "I almost felt like calling John Kerry and saying, 'John, apologize and go home,'" Lott said.

In December 2002, Lott lost the chance to regain his position as majority leader after saying at Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party that the country "wouldn't have had all these problems over the years" if it had elected Thurmond president in 1948. Thurmond was a strong segregationist at the time.

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