Thursday, June 03, 2004

The Ocala Syndrome

Has the Army lost its collective mind? This posted email comes to IDV thanks to kos from the Daily Kos. He did some research, and found this to be a true story.

Ocala is about dead-center in the state, almost exactly 90 miles in the appropriate directions from Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa.
Seems one of our county sheriff's deputies, 1st Sgt. Fred Chisholm, commands a unit of the 351st Military Police Company in Iraq. Their Humvees aren't armored, so he wrote to his boss, Marion County Sheriff Ed Dean, and said the department's obsolete Kevlar body armor would be perfect for lining the floors and sides of their vehicles to protect them from bullets and bombs.

Sheriff Dean contacted about 40 other law enforcement agencies throughout the state and got them to send their old body armor, too. Altogether, he collected 1,200 pieces for our boys in Baghdad.

Enter the U.S. Army, which was apparently embarrassed that the fact they still had our guys over there riding around in unarmored Hummers was getting lots of local media publicity, refused to accept the body armor (despite pleas from the local commander of the 351st, who wanted it), and publicly censured 1st Sgt, Chisholm for asking for it.

Our local red, white and blue congressman, Cliff Stearns, also joined in criticizing Sheriff Dean for butting in where he wasn't welcome.

The body armor is still sitting in a warehouse at the 351st's HQ in Ocala, and our guys in Iraq are still riding around in thin-skinned Humvees.

Support our troops indeed!

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