LOCAL WOMAN SENDING PROTECTIVE EQPT FOR HER SON BECAUSE THE ARMY WON'T - Mitch Perry

05/06/04

As the U.S.-led attack against Iraq developed last year, there were frequent reports that thousands of US soldiers were lacking body armor to protect them in battle.

There have been reports that Soldiers were not give the vital ceramic plates for their Kevlar Interceptor vests that will protect them from bullet wounds.

The USA Today reported back in December that the Pentagon confirmed then that at least 40,000 of the 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq did NOT have basic Kevlar Interceptor vests or the ceramic plates needed for full protection.

Congress has criticized the Pentagon for failing to order not only enough body armour for the troops, but also sufficient armoured Humvee vehicles, which would protect patrols in Iraq from roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades.

Apparently, the situation isn't improving...

A Tampa woman - whose son is a reservist serving in Iraq, just yesterday spent over $500 to mail out a ceramic plate to her son... The woman - who only wanted to be identified as "Diane spoke with WMNF about her experience (roll tape#1 o.q. "hasn't provided")

And she says the request from her son is being done by every other member of his Reservist unit (roll tape#2 o.q." through the military ")

Newsweek Magazine reported last week that it's not just body armor that the Military is lacking to provide troops. They reported that Humvees don't have adequate armor plating, which could have resulted in as many as 1 out of every 4 of those killed in Iraq in combat may still be alive if they had stronger armor around them.

Dianne says her son - who has been in the Reserves for 6 years and was called to report for duty in February, called her with concern last Sunday - after the unit he is fighting with came dangerously close to being hit by hostile fire (roll tape#3 o.q."sent home")

Today more graphic photos taken by Military Police at the Abu Graib Prison near Baghdad were published by the Washington Post, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will discuss the issue before Congress tomorrow...

But Dianne says that her son - based in Northern Iraq near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, is NOT aware of the controversy that is dominating the media's attention around the world (roll tape#4 o.q."is so limited")

Dianne- who lives in the Seminole Heights district of Tampa, said her 37 year old son was born during the Vietnam War, and she swore that she would never have any of her 3 sons fight in a war...But her son signed up for the Reserves, never believing he would participate in a war....

But as has been much documented, never before have Reserves and National Guard Members been used in actual fighting than in the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dianne says she is thoroughly non-impressed by the planning done by the Bush Administration and the Pentagon before the U.S. led attack on Iraq began in March of a year ago (roll tape#5 o.q."bully us, we won")

That was a local Tampa woman, named Dianne, discussing mailing out a ceramic plate for his son's Kevlar Vest to protect himself in Iraq.....Because of concerns about any type of retribution from the Military, Dianne did NOT want to name her son in discussing him with WMNF.

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