Saturday, January 26, 2008

Letters to the Editor
On war, weapons and shields

Dear Editor,

I first want to express my thanks to the sons of both Joyce Holman and Kristi Nicholls for their service to our nation during its most trying time of this generation. I empathize with the feelings expressed in their letters of May 8th and 10th. I am both awed and respectful of Sgt. Holman's spirit and would love to hear first-hand the feelings of Ms. Nicholls' son, as I am always wary of making judgments based on second-hand information.As a parent, soldier, and a veteran of the current conflicts, I want to word this carefully out of respect for the anxiety and trepidation of these parents. Personal body armor is designed for protection against small arms fire, and all soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have it. This means that they have the ballistic plates, otherwise it is not armor, but merely a fabric vest. In some cases, the enhanced plates are not issued until troops reach staging areas near Iraq, as it makes distribution more effective. This was not the case in 2003-4, and some troops bought armor at personal expense for which reimbursement has been offered. Personally procured body armor is no longer authorized to prevent the use of inferior and defective body armor, to include Dragon Skin.Losing soldiers to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is preventable, but not through technological means as Ms. Nicholls states. All HUMMWVs that travel the roads of Iraq are armored, some more heavily than others; but as the armor increases, so does the lethality of IEDs. While prudence demands the use of armor against smaller, more easily-identified threats, bombs that leave swimming-pool-sized holes will defeat not only the best-armored HUMMWVs, but Strykers and tanks as well. The race between better weapons and better shields will always be won by the weapon. See both and key to prevention lies in avoidance. That solution is ultimately political, and the responsibility for its implementation lies with all of us. Brian Delaplane
Mehlingen, Germany


va purchase loan said...

May God Bless each of you for your sacrifices for each of us that enjoy this great country. Thank you.

kevin said...

First of all I want to thank you for your military service!!! You are a great American!!!

I am a new soldier in the Army National Guard (Airborne 11 Bravo Hoo Ahh!!!) and am gearing up for my first deployment to Iraq at the end of this summer with the Washington National Guard. I have recently had a book published called “Homeless Across America.” It is my story of a trip I took last summer before going to boot camp at Fort Benning Georgia. I had actually lost my house as a result of a nasty divorce and I decided that with the time I had before leaving for my training I would drive a loop around the country and see what it was I, and you were fighting for. I can attest that after finishing my journey I was even more confident that I had made the right choice to join your ranks and as Toby says beside my brothers and my sisters proudly make a stand!!! If you feel so inclined please check out my blog at Again, thank you for your service and thank you for going before me. May God bless you and God Bless America!!!!!