Pentagon Weasels on Armor Payback

Everyone in uniform knows that life ain't fair -- that, sooner or later, the government they're trying to defend is going to mess with them, somehow. Set up roadblocks. Make their mission harder. Treat them less than fairly. It'd be crazy to expect anything less from a bureaucracy as giant and disjointed as the Defense Department. So putting up with B.S. just another part of handling the job.soldier-Back.JPGBut this -- this is too much:

Soldiers and their parents are still spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for armor they say the military wont provide. One U.S. senator said Wednesday he will try again to force the Pentagon to obey the reimbursement law it opposed from the outset and has so far not implemented...Your expectation is that when you are sent to war, that our government does everything they can do to protect the lives of our people, and anything less than that is not good enough, said a former Marine who spent nearly $1,000 two weeks ago to buy lower-body armor for his son, a Marine serving in Fallujah.The father asked that he be identified only by his first name Gordon because he is afraid of retribution against his son.I wouldnt have cared if it cost us $10,000 to protect our son, I would do it, said Gordon. But I think the U.S. has an obligation to make sure they have this equipment and to reimburse for it. I just dont support Donald Rumsfelds idea of going to war with what you have, not what you want. You go to war prepared, and you dont go to war until you are prepared.Under the law passed by Congress last October, the Defense Department had until Feb. 25 to develop regulations for the reimbursement, which is limited to $1,100 per item. Pentagon officials opposed the reimbursement idea, calling it an unmanageable precedent that will saddle the DOD with an open-ended financial burden.
So wait, let me get this straight: reimbursing 11 Bravos for their body armor is somehow "unmanageable." But sinking hundreds of billions into a flailing, bloated modernization project that changes requirements and deadlines every couple of months, that's perfectly OK? No, wrong. Helping soldiers and marines fight today's war isn't a "burden." It should be a priority. The priority.(Photo: Johan Spanner)
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