You'll go by the phone kiosk and you'll hear young men having these very strange, almost surreal arguments or discussions with their wives over something like, "Hey the garage is leaking, how do we fix that?" And what she maybe doesn't understand is, maybe that guy just got ambushed, like half an hour ago, and he's shaking from the adrenaline, and he's just calling her just to hear a familiar voice, and she's like, "We gotta get the sprinklers fixed." And he's like, "Oh, OK ... . I love you." He just wants to get back to the ground. And that's what makes me angry, is what all of this is doing to these very young families. It just makes me mad. It makes anybody mad.
, interviewed in TNR (reg required, free)
on his frequent USO visits to Afghanistan and Iraq.
posted by Ethereal Bligh
on Apr 13, 2007 -
Never Coming Home
is about the families of five young men killed in Iraq. Slate
presents a short documentary that focuses on the bereavement of the parents, or in one case, a brother. This portrait of grief and sacrifice is brought to life through the use of still photography and the recorded voices of family members.
posted by ND¢
on Jun 12, 2006 -
Marines recall faulty body armor.
In yet another blow to the struggle to supply soldiers with adequate armor, 5,277 defective vests were recalled today from troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In response to the armor shortages, new Oklahoma legislation
would create "Patriot Plates," a $35 license plate of which $20 would go to supply body armor for Oklahoma soldiers.
Soldiers have been lacking this armor for months now. According to an April GAO report
Because of the shortages, many individuals bought body armor with personal funds. The Congressional Budget Office estimated (1) that as many as 10,000 personnel purchased vests, (2) as many as 20,000 purchased plates with personal funds, and (3) the total cost to reimburse them would be $16 million in 2005. (P. 78)
Another continuing problem is a lack of adequately armored HMMWVs. "Current HMMWVs are protected only by canvas tops and have no additional armor protection." (P. 122) In this case, for protection from ambushes and roadside bombs, an add-on armor kit is required. However, "as of September 2004, the Army supplied 8,771 of the 13,872 Add-on Armor kits required by CENTCOM but still needed 5,101 additional kits to meet all requirements." (P. 121) Attacks on vehicles have accounted for as many as 40 percent of the 1,037 deaths attributed to hostile action.
But at least we can sleep soundly knowing that manufacturers are seeing record profits
from all of this.
posted by ScottMorris
on May 10, 2005 -
Gaming in Iraq by US troops. Soon after the battle for Fallujah ended in November, U.S. Marines brought their Xbox consoles, Gameboys and laptops forward and started fighting the Covenant hordes in "Halo," Mario and Luigi's worst enemies and those irksome roommates from "The Sims."
Of course such actives during war are nothing new
. Iraqies have also gotten in on the action too
posted by Bag Man
on Jan 3, 2005 -
Terrorising free speech.
Al Lorentz is a reserve Non-Commissioned Officer currently serving in Iraq. His blazingly clear, succinct article on Iraq, titled "Why we cannot win"
, has raged over the wires (also at MeFi) since it was published on LewRockwell.com. Now, the military chain of command is considering charging Al with violation of Article 134 for making a statement with the intent to promote disloyalty or disaffection toward the U.S. by any member of the Armed forces. The military is also considering charging Al with violation of 1344.10, the conduct of partisan political activity, and violation of Standards of Conduct for unauthorized use of Government assets to create and email stories.
posted by acrobat
on Sep 29, 2004 -
Two U.S. Combat Officers Speak Out.
"What I want to say as my final statement to America is 'Stop letting your proud men and women die so senselessly. If we are going to die for our country let it be for something we can really be proud of. I just don t see us making the US any safer from terrorists because of what we are doing in Iraq. Bring us back home so we can defend the US from real threats to our shores.'" "Yeah, I pretty much agree with that. I am proud to serve my country and even die for it. I know the risks of putting on the uniform and accepting command. But damn it, if we are going to die, make it for something that really is helping to defend the US. I agree that we are dying senselessly for an idea of democracy in Iraq that the US government will never really let happen. I just want to be able to look back on my service with total pride and that is not really what I feel right now. I hate the ones in power that have made me question my sense of duty and honor."
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Feb 7, 2004 -
The U.S. military death toll in Iraq surpassed 500 this weekend, roughly matching the number of U.S. military personnel who died in the first four years
of the U.S. military engagement in Vietnam.
posted by the fire you left me
on Jan 18, 2004 -
Wounded British soldier gets lawsuit for Christmas?!
Alan Tudball was supposed to marry his fiance Claire McCombe in April of this year, but unfortunately Iraq -- and friendly fire
from two U.S. A-10 tankbusters
(video) -- spoiled the wedding plans. Tudball would have died if not for brave Christopher Finney
, who rescued the grievously wounded Tudball, even as the U.S. planes circled around for another strafing run.
refused to pay the wedding's cancellation fee, and the Leasowe Castle Hotel
-- not knowing of Tudball's circumstances -- initiated a lawsuit, but after media attention and several concerned phone calls (mine included), I am pleased to announce that the management of the Leasowe Castle Hotel has announced that they are not only dropping the lawsuit, but that they will host the wedding of Mr. Alan Tudball and Miss Claire McCombe free of charge. It's worth noting that when our leaders seem to only be capable of serving up plastic turkeys, the action of ordinary people working together can still bring about honest-to-goodness Christmas miracles.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Dec 23, 2003 -
A little Iraqi girl -- no more than eight years old
-- squatted beside the road with tears of humiliation streaming down her cheeks.
Twenty feet away, three American soldiers had their rifles aimed at her as she was forced to relieve herself in full view of a long line of parked cars. From inside their vehicles, the Iraqi onlookers screamed their rage at the U.S. troops.
Whenever one of the Iraqis ventured to step out of his vehicle, an American officer bellowed, "Get back in the car, a--hole!" and the .50-calibre machinegun mounted on the U.S. Hummer would swing menacingly toward the protester.
posted by tpoh.org
on Sep 28, 2003 -
Operation: Air Conditioner
It's about dropping our differences and getting together to support our troops and keep them cool.
Should I feel terribly guilty about giggling at some of the things on this web page? Like: "Together We Are: An Army of One" (Say what?) and "Here are some of the items that I buy and send besides air conditioners: Baby Wipes, Powder... Liquid Soap (I heard the bar melts)... Tiki Torches
. Check out the Baghdad Weather Report near the bottom, and... wait a minute... "I’ve organized people to begin “Operation Christmas” and we need to start planning that in August." (So we aren't leaving anytime soon?)
And, while they seem to have enough power to run the A/C at the Army camp, electricity for the rest of Iraq is still gonna take some more money
posted by wendell
on Jul 17, 2003 -
Jules is a thief.
The fact that "all the embedded reporters were doing it" does not make it right. Presumably the US soldiers who were overseeing the embedded reporters knew of this kind of cultural theft -- more than likely, many were a party to it themselves.
I'm sending him an email
to remind him of that fact, and I will also contact his bosses
, urging disciplinary action.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Apr 23, 2003 -