Troops in A'stan Need Your Help NOW!!
[from The Burn Pit: UPDATE: OK, link is now active for credit card donations. I just did mine and it went through. Make sure you only click the "donate" button once. Tomorrow I will have info up for those who wish to donate via check or send in items.]
As you all know, this past weekend, an American Combat Outpost was overrun in Afghanistan and 8 American soldiers were killed and many wounded. What many people do not know is that the soldiers who are still there (but pulled back to a Forward Operating Base) lost everything but the clothes on their backs.
Everything the men of Bravo Troop 361 Cavalry had with them that they were not wearing was destroyed in the battle for Combat Outpost Keating. [snip] These men have lost friends, lost their outpost, and lost all their belongings. One who made it out wrote that “most people back home don't even know -- no one gives a shit”. Well, many of us do.
And you can prove [you care] by giving whatever you can to try and buy these guys things like running shoes, and other essentials, as well as some comfort items like iPods and DvD players. The American Legion’s Operation Comfort Warrior has kicked in $1000 to start the Combat Outpost Keating Relief Fund... I intend to get these items out by the end of next week. ANY amount you can give, no matter how small will help us prove that we do care.]
-- Some Soldier's Mom
PS To the azzholes out there who are writing these incredulous blog posts about how the U.S. spends so much on defense yet we have to have private fund raising to give these soldiers this stuff: You are f@#$%^ MORONS!! Your total IGNORANCE of all things military is showing! If you read Tanker Babe's info closely enough, you will see that she makes clear that the Army is replacing the basics -- one set each (usually... except ACUs). The call is to help provide for additional things & EXTRA sets of socks, boots, running shoes, EXTRA towels & soft blankets, etc. (which all soldiers everywhere also provide themselves!) The American Legion effort is addressing PERSONAL and COMFORT items like DVDs, iPods, maybe laptops...
So you should either PUT UP or STFU... 'cause you are the exact same group of people who would be whining and shuffling if the military gave that kind of stuff to the troops.
From a favorite Army friend:
My reply would be simple. Would you rather the Army buy Body Armor or Socks? The stuff's expensive. If you say both, you don't understand competing demands. Both cost money; to buy one, you have to forsake some quantity of the other. Every item the Army buys has a priority. Socks are a lower priority than other things. I'm sure the Army has a warehouse full of socks somewhere, so lets focus on logistics. It isn't like the supply officer can run to wal-mart. They are in Afghanistan. It isn't the asshole of the world, but you can smell it from there. Everything has to be brought in either by trucks on nearly non-existent roads or by aircraft. Sure, those C-17s look big, until you stock them with essentials like food, ammo, medical supplies, mail, repair parts, petroleum, oil, and lubricants for weapons, building supplies for defenses, and water--for 500 people, for a week or a month.
So now it's a logistics priority. Where do uniform items fall on the supply priorities? Well below the other things mentioned. Mail has an immeasurable effect on morale, so it almost ALWAYS gets priority, right behind bullets, chow, and bandages. Broken uniforms can be fixed with a (much smaller) sewing kit. Uniforms wear out a lot faster when they don't get washed often, even faster when they are hand-washed. When water has to be flown in, washing clothes isn't at the top of the list of things you use water for.
Instead of reasoning with you about supply chain metrics or the priorities of resupply, I'll just ask you to pony up five fucking dollars, the cost of a Latte and Biscotti, and buy a damn pair of socks for a deployed soldier. Then spend an extra five dollars (might have to forgo renting a couple movies this weekend) and mail them to someone whose highlight of the week might just be that single pair of fresh, clean socks he received in the mail. Take stock of your cushy -assed life and do something for someone else for a change. Stop bitching about how much the government spends on defense, and help a soldier out. Right now, it doesn't matter WHY there's a shortage, it only matters that there IS a shortage, and the fastest way to fill that gap is by the American People stepping up and taking action themselves. Nobody's asking YOU to pick up a rifle or put YOUR life at risk. They're just asking you for a pair of fucking socks.
Better yet, keep your money and your fucking stamps. I'm sure those same men would rather go barefoot until their feet bleed than accept a gift given begrudgingly. If you're pissed off about the need, fill the need, then petition congress for a redress of grievance -- like the way DoD can't supply adequate socks. It's a right those soldiers DON'T have, that they are fighting for you to keep.
-- No Nom