View Full Version : Santa helping Uncle Sam in terror war

09-14-03, 05:56 AM
Santa helping Uncle Sam in terror war
Reports detail how soldiers shell out own money for gear

Posted: September 13, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern

2003 WorldNetDaily.com

Among the lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom is that U.S. troops not only valiantly served their country, but they also dug into their own pockets to do so.

The Pentagon's draft report of the conflict details how soldiers spent their own money to get better field radios, extra ammunition carriers and commercial backpacks to replace undersized rucksacks, according to Scripps Howard News Service.

An internal Army report similarly documented the trend among ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"There were a lot of reports of that prior to the war, people would go out and buy their own gear," Patrick Garrett, a defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.org, told the news service. "The Army ran out of desert camo boots, and a lot of soldiers were being issued regular black combat boots. Soldiers decided that wasn't for them, so they paid for new boots with their own money."

Scripps Howard interviewed Senior Airman Joe Harvey, who is based at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, about the personal financial cost of deployment. Harvey said the Air Force provides most aspects of the uniform, including four sets of combat and dress uniforms and provides an annual clothing allowance of $200 to cover all other expenses.

"Of course with all the wear and tear [the uniforms] don't always last that long," Harvey said. "Now with some of the units if you rip a pair of bdu's [battle dress uniforms] they will give you a new pair. But for the most part you are responsible for buying any new uniform you need except for boots."

Beyond basic apparel, soldiers also scrounged for equipment to help them do their duty. Last year, Marine Sgt. Mike Corcoran put $2,000 night-vision goggles, a global positioning system and a short-wave radio on the Christmas wish-list he sent home to his mother.

The news service reports Santa didn't disappoint but sent Corcoran, who has since left the Marines, everything he asked for. The short-wave radio wound up providing intelligence on enemy fighters.