WASHINGTON: Playing off of interest created by Time naming the American soldier its Person of the Year, the US Army just completed a press tour featuring the three GI's photographed for the cover of the issue.
Sgt. Marquette Whiteside, Sgt. Ronald Buxton, and Spc. Billie Grimes returned from overseas deployments for a two-week "goodwill tour" that included more than 50 appearances at events ranging from the State of the Union address to the Super Bowl to media appearances on national networks.
The Army's PR staff handled publicity for the events with help from other government agencies in local markets. The tour also included stops in two of the soldiers' hometowns.
"It was an ambitious schedule," said Army public affairs specialist John Boyce, who coordinated the tour from Washington, DC.
While the three soldiers got much attention, they strongly pushed the message that they simply represented all soldiers.