Being ex-military, I know that the things that I saw were not always the things presented to the public as what was going on. Sometimes this is acceptable; there are times it is not!
"Soldiers for the Truth" was founded by the late Colonel David Hackworth as a way to try to do something for the guys in the field; the guys who are dying every day. One of the most decorated soldiers since Audie Murphy (actually, as I read, more decorated than Murphy) he never said what they would have liked him to, much as so many who have been dismissed these past few years. Some of you may have seen "Hack" on Larry King through the years; some of you will recognize the stories he broke as he tried to do "the right thing".
I am bringing this up now because his widow has continued Hack's legacy and is at the forefront of the body armor issue that has once again raised it's head. We of course, are told that our children are being provided with the best of everything; once again, just like the lack of armored Humvees and so many other issues, it appears that just isn't so!
Not a supporter of John McCain politically, I am still glad he seems to be wading into this if only for political reasons because perhaps that will give this life and death issue a high enough profile that something will finally be done! Then all we need to do is get our kids some weapons that actually work when they are needed, some helmets that actually protect them from head injury and some boots that actually hold together (borrowing from the last bit of Eilhys's article)
"As we enter the fifth year of this terrible war, SFTT will shortly formally announce the new Basic Five campaign to get America’s frontline troops the best available of the five most essential items of personal combat gear so they have the best possible chance to complete their assigned missions and make it home alive and in one piece in a plane seat instead of a body bag or on a stretcher. Doesn’t it seem criminal that the richest nation in the world, which spends more than the rest of the world combined on defense, can’t budget responsibly enough to provide its sons and daughters with a helmet that will prevent many more of the endemic, life-altering head injuries? With the same better body armor the generals choose – and wear hidden under their uniforms? With a rifle that’s not a jammer like Jessica Lynch’s M-16 and that’s at least as effective as the AK-47, the terrorists’ weapon-of-choice? With a sidearm that’s reliable and deadly in tight situations? And with boots capable of going the bloody distance?"
Somewhere I read a blog not long ago where someone's kid had written home and asked for a pair of boots, because they couldn't buy them in Iraq and the service wasn't issuing them! On NPR I've heard of Navy and Air Force personnel being retrained for ground roles in Iraq and Afghanistan because there aren't enough Army and Marine troops to do the job. (This explains why I keep hearing of Navy corpsman dying in country! They're being pulled to be medics!)
Though I wish I were "Jeannie" and could blink them all home and end this conflict yesterday, or last week, or last year, or make it never have happened, such is not my lot in life. I keep writing Senators (a Republican stone wall in my case) and my Representative, I sign petitions and I raise what little hell I can as so many of us do. In sharing this link with you, I'm hoping to give you each a bit more information
to use as ammunition in the fight not only to end this terrible war; not only to show this awful administration for the liars and profitmongers they are; but to try and help a few more of our kids come home physically intact!
Please, if you have a chance, read a few of these pages I have given you links to above? If you have a bit more time read some of the "DefenseWatch Feedback" correspondence like this one
Sorry for beginning your weekends with a rant; I know this is supposed to be the time we all get to escape the cares of the world for a few days. I also know that for our children who find themselves caught up in this, there are no weekends!