Sunday, June 19, 2005

Marines Still Forced To Buy Own Equipment

Arizona Republic:
John Tod of Mesa had been prepared to face Father's Day worrying about his son's pending date with the war in Iraq.

Then Uncle Sam stepped in with more disappointing developments.

Marine Pfc. Jeremy Tod called home with news that his superiors were urging him and fellow Marines to buy special military equipment, including flak jackets with armor plating, to enhance the prospects of their survival.

The message was that such purchases were to be made by Marines with their own money.

"He said they strongly suggested he get this equipment because when they get to Iraq they will wish they had," Tod said.

Total estimated cost: $600. ...

Besides the essential flak jacket with steel "trauma" plates, the shopping list for the young Marine included a Camelbak (water pouch) special ballistic goggles, knee and elbow pads, a "drop pouch" to hold ammunition magazines and a load-bearing vest.
It's becoming an old refrain:

December 17, 2003 - US soldiers lack best protective gear

March 16, 2004 - Army Learns Lessons On Equipping Troops

March 26, 2004 - Soldiers in Iraq still buying their own body armor

October 31, 2004 - GIs Lack Armor, Radios, Bullets

Nearly $300 billion has been earmarked for the Junta's wars and the troops still have to pony up the cash for their own protection.

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