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Soldier Sends Pictures of 'Combat Bunny'

Soldier Sends Pictures of 'Combat Bunny'


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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioSome soldiers are trying a new way to get their kids interested in their work in Iraq. They say sending pictures of themselves may be boring to their children.

How do you describe a tour of duty in Iraq and make it interesting to kids? Utah National Guard Maj. Craig Jenkins gave it a shot.

"I sent pictures home of myself doing all sorts of things, flying in helicopters, and nobody got that excited about them," he said.

Then, he saw someone taking a picture of something called a "Flat Stanley," a paper cut-out of a man made by an elementary school class. This cut-out was being photographed on Saddam Hussein's former throne. Jenkins says that's when the light bulb over his head flashed on.

"One day I found this pink bunny. Someone in the office gave me this pink bunny, and I had a little uniform made for him," Jenkins said.

That's when "Combat Bunny" was born.

"As soon as I started sending home pictures of ‘Combat Bunny' flying in the helicopters, then all of the sudden everybody was interested in the pictures," he said.

Jenkins says the bunny has seen more of Iraq than he has.

"He flew on a C-130 and got to hop out of top while they were taxiing. He's been to Ur and the ziggurat of Ur and been to Abraham's house," he said.

Combat Bunny has also had his picture taken in the "Green Zone," at the Jerusalem Gate and at the massive Cross Sword Monument. The popularity of the bunny is pretty high, and not just for members of the Jenkins family. Jenkins showed pictures of his work to his fourth-grade daughter's class.

Claire Jenkins said, "Especially the boys, they thought the helicopters were really cool, but the bunny, they thought it was [especially] cool. They were like, ‘Oh, it's the bunny!'"

Claire says the most memorable picture she has seen is of the bunny in a sandstorm.

I asked her, "Do you ever worry for Combat Bunny's safety?"

"I mostly worry for my dad's safety," she answered.

"Good," I told her.

Jenkins says this idea seems to be spreading to other Americans working in Iraq.

He explained, "People would ask me, they would say, ‘Hey, do you mind if I use this idea with my kids?' I would say, ‘Heck, no. Go ahead.'"

Jenkins says he's already heard of "Fifi the Poodle" and "Princess the Purple Bunny."

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