Letter to the Editor

Soldiers left unprotected in Iraq

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

To the editor:

I have heard it all now. A wounded American soldier in Iraq was forced to pay for his missing armor vest before he could be discharged. He borrowed money from his buddies to pay $632 for the vest. The soldier, Lt. Eddie Rebrook, said the vest was destroyed because it was soaked with his blood and became a biohazard. His commanding officer told him he would have to obtain witness statements to prove the vest was destroyed. He was finally refunded $510 after Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va, questioned the chief of staff, Gen. Pete Schoomaker. It still cost Rebrook $122 for the vest. What a crock.

The secretary of defense told soldiers in Iraq that "you go to war with what you have." In other words, we were not quite prepared in Iraq to go to war, so do the best with what you have. The topic was about Humvee armor. Billions of dollars are pouring into the coffers of Haliburton for no-bid lucrative contracts in Iraq, but the government can't find funds to put armor plate on the Humvees to help save lives and limbs of our young military people. What a shame. Why won't the president visit the troops in Iraq?

SHERMAN HILL, East Cape Girardeau, Ill.