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General Topic Areas

Putting troops in danger (11)
Pay and benefits (5)
Recruiting (0)
Priorities (2)
Deaths due to Pentagon's negligence (3)
Mistreatment of troops (2)

Specific Issues and Cases

lightly armored vehicles (8)
Body armor
Pentagon cuts to IDP and FSA (3)
Klamath Basin Fish Kill (1)
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Treatment of US troops

 
  

Project: Bush administration's treatment of US troops

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April 2003 and later

       Roughly 44,000 US troops deployed to Iraq are provided with Vietnam-era Flak jackets instead of the modern Interceptor vests developed during the late 90s and in use since 2001. Flak Jackets do not protect troops from most of the ammunition types being used in Iraq. By contrast, the Interceptor vest—made of layered sheets of Kevlar with pockets in front and back for boron carbide ceramic plates—can stop high-velocity machine-gun bullets, shrapnel and other ordnance. They are also significantly lighter, giving troops more maneuverability when they need to respond quickly to threatening circumstances. Even in cases where troops are provided with the modern vests, they often lack the essential ceramic plates. [New York Daily News, 9/30/2003; Los Angeles Times, 10/02/2003; The Washington Post, 12/4/2003; Associated Press, 10/13/2003] Worried for the safety of their sons and daughters in Iraq, parents begin purchasing Interceptor vests and ceramic plates from body armor companies in the US and shipping them directly to their children's units. Sometimes only the plates are available so soldiers improvise by taping the plates they have received from home to their Flak Jackets with duct tape—a practice that plate manufacturers say is unsafe. [Los Angeles Times, 10/02/2003]
          

May 27, 2003

       US serviceman Mike Quinn is fatally shot at a traffic control point in Fallujah during an ambush. According to his friend, Staff Sgt. Dave Harris, he was killed because he wasn't wearing his body armor. He had apparently given his vest to a young soldier who had not been provided with one of his own. [European and Pacific Stars and Stripes, 8/31/2003]
          


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