No comments about why we're at war or whether we should be there or not, as that's a rant for another day. Let's all at least start out on the same page, as I know I've got folks reading this on the farthest corners of either side of the debate.
But, I've been pissed about the troop body armor situation for a while now. A soldier is giving up his freedom and possibly his health or his life for his country. He's doing his part (and then some, I think). The least the military can do is give them the tools they need to do their job. I was outraged that troops had to buy their own body armor, or receive gas masks as Christmas presents from concerned family members back home.
Perhaps it would be different if we were under attack, a defensive war with enemies climbing over fences into our back yards, and the government was tossing rifles at folks as fast as they could. But when we send folks out to attack, offensively and preemptively, we should gear them up beforehand. Make sure we have enough troops and supplies before we strike the first blow, since we are the ones setting the timetable. Not doing so, my friends, is complete and utter bullshit.
Current news of the day is that the Army is now forbidding soldiers from using their own gear.
Didn't think I'd get more pissed about this issue, but apparently I was wrong. I was annoyed at their earlier recommendation that people "buy their own", but if times are bad enough that's an acceptable solution. Better than nothing...which is exactly what they got now. If someone's gonna fight for me and my freedom, I want to make sure he's got every advantage he can have. Don't want them dying for me if possible, even though several undoubtedly will. Taking away a soldier's gas mask and body armor for any reason seems pretty damn ignorant. Even the cheapest POS money can buy will stop a bullet better than general issue fatigues.
The only problem I can think of is them disliking the various makes and models, either for effectiveness or nonconformity. In that case, make it known to the troops and their families to buy only Gas Blaster 2000 masks or Bullet-B-Gone brand kevlar vests. Or sell the military's gear indirectly to civilians - take their money, and pass the equipment to the soldier in question. It's not exactly a luxury item, so anyone shopping for these kinds of things will do whatever they have to in order to make sure they get something they're able to use. But to flat-out ban them alltogether? GAH!