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Stars and Stripes with the "real story" of hostage John Adam:
Special Ops Cody isn't a regular GI, and he's no ordinary Joe. Special Ops Cody is a star.
The $39 action figure apparently kidnapped in an insurgent hoax to drum up American alarm has done well for himself: He's selling on eBay anywhere from around $100 to more than $230, and he's even scarce to be found downrange.
According to AAFES headquarters in Dallas, the exchange shipped 3,864 of the toys overseas in winter 2003, and deployed another 2,292 last September. Most were shipped to Iraq and Kuwait. But only about 20 percent of those are the African-American version.
According to the exchange, Cody is scarce in the field as well. An AAFES spokesman, Maj. David Accetta, was able to find one, and only one, Caucasian Cody at the Camp Liberty store outside Baghdad. According to Dan Tompkins, the vice president of AAFES operations in Iraq, it isn't clear whether the platoons of Cody figures were bought because of the hostage crisis or simply because of an earlier Christmas rush.
If there are any Cody troops in the field, they will not be brought back to base but allowed to remain expeditionary.
"We will not pull them off the shelves," said Debbie Byerly, an AAFES spokeswoman in Germany.
But she doubted there'd be any left.
"I'd buy one if I could," Byerly said.