Wednesday, April 16, 2003
What was that about truth being the first casualty of war?
THE “Stay Lucky” soldier pictured wearing a helmet riddled with bullet holes was playing a PRANK, The Sun can reveal.
Comical commando Eric Walderman and his comrades fooled Gulf War II newsmen by pretending he had escaped death by inches when he was shot at while fighting Iraqis.
In fact his Kevlar helmet was just lying on top of his pack when it was peppered by fellow Marines trying to hit an unexploded anti-tank weapon.
Eric, 28, then popped it on his head and posed for photographers travelling with 40 Commando before they took Umm Qasr in southern Iraq.
He gave no interview but he and his pals did nothing to stop journalists jumping to conclusions.
The picture was beamed round the world with the amazing story of his “miracle” escape. [...]
The Marines came clean when The Sun sought an update on Eric for our Gulf War in pictures commemorative special.
A senior officer said: “I’m afraid the pressmen have been had. All commandos have a great sense of humour. Boys will be boys.
“It will go down in history as a great wheeze.”
Eric’s receptionist girlfriend Lindsey Robinson, 25, was among those who cheered his luck after the “firefight”. She said: “I can’t believe it.”
You and a good few other people, dear. Wonder how many people will be laughing when he gets home...