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U.S. shamefully delayed request to ship vests to Iraq

[ Vests? Why not armored humvees? Oh, that’s right: Rumsfeld insisted on a minimalist, sleek fighting force. –BL ]

14 August 2004 | Gainesville Sun

As a veteran who has seen combat, I’m disgusted that any military vehicles in Iraq are not ?up-armored,? meaning they can’t stop bullets, let alone roadside bombs.

Marion County Sheriff Ed Dean got a request for bulletproof vests to line the Humvees’ sides and floor panels from deputy Fred Chisholm, a reservist in Iraq serving in the 351st Military Police Company. By May 2004, Dean collected more than 850 vests and asked the military to ship them to Iraq.

It should have been easy, as in New Jersey, where a group collected and sent bulletproof vests to Iraq with hardly any delay.

Instead, more than 800 vests sat for months (and might still be sitting) in Marion County, because U.S. officials seemed more interested in downplaying the problem than solving it.

It’s shameful that Washington officials failed to include armored Humvees in their $87 billion war-spending request. It’s downright immoral that officials threw political resistance at helpful civilians in Florida.

Politics

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