Thursday, November 10, 2005

Money Needed for Kevlar

Mike Harden, Columbus Dispatch columnist, writes that there is still a need for armor for humvees in Iraq. Columbus-based Marine reservists, Lima Company, sustained 22 deaths because of a lack of armor. Although tributes and honors continue to roll in for the unit, it cannot take away the memories of their fellow Marines who were killed or injured because of inadequate protection. Here are some excerpts from Mike Harden's column:

A Pasadena, Calif., group called Soldiers’ Angels has launched a program christened Armor Up to provide Kevlar blankets to fortify the floors and doors of Humvees.

When we went to war in 2003, the Humvees that raced to Baghdad on the heels of "shock and awe" were little more than glorified Jeeps. Their vulnerability became apparent at the same sobering speed with which IED became a household word.

At the beginning of 2005, when the Columbus-based Marine Reserve unit Lima Company arrived in Iraq, Gunnery Sgt. Shawn Delgado said that only two of the nine Humvees in his weapons platoon had been up-armored.

"While we were in Humvees," Delgado recalled, "eight Marines were injured in blasts from IEDs...

Marine Corps Reserve Maj. Paul Hackett, who left the Cincinnati suburb of Indian Hill for Iraq in the summer of 2004, found a similar paucity of up-armored Humvees.

"The vehicle I had to drive around in had no armor and a canvas top," Hackett said. "The first week we were there we had a sergeant lose his leg up to the knee in a Humvee without armor.

"There were a few fully uparmored Humvees, but they were reserved for senior officers."
According to an Army report, 10,300 of the 22,000 Humvees in Iraq have factory-installed armor. Of the balance, many have been retrofitted with some plating, but, Hackett said, "I’m sure there are still lots of people running around over there in lightly armored Humvees."

Kevlar blankets are needed. Send a buck before Veterans Day has passed to Soldiers’ Angels, 1792 W. Washington Blvd., Pasadena, Calif., 91104. Visit the Web site — — and click the "Armor up" link...

************The Continuing Story of The Ohio Republican Party's Culture of Corruption (Episode 284?)

From today's Columbus Dispatch:
Penny Johnson (Republican) figures somebody is out to get her — and her job — by trying to ruin her good name.

The Fayette County auditor, unbowed after being convicted of a job-related crime, vows to run for re-election next year.

"What I did was not wrong. I cashed a check, basically, that’s what it was. They tried to make it into something it wasn’t."

Her periodic practice of exchanging personal checks and IOUs for cash from her office’s till netted Johnson a conviction for disorderly conduct Tuesday.

Negotiations with Stephen Pronai, the Madison County prosecutor named to handle the case, substituted the minor misdemeanor for misuse of public funds, a more-serious charge carrying up to 30 days in jail.

Johnson, 54, of Washington Court House, pleaded no contest and was found guilty by James Fais, a retired Franklin County municipal judge appointed to hear the matter. The judge imposed a $150 fine.

The auditor obtained cash from her office at least six times and replaced it with IOUs or checks until she repaid the money, investigators found....

When will it stop?????