It’s like they’re TRYING to keep the spotlight on the armor issue…

DoD drops ball on body armor reimbursement program

Army Times:

The Defense Department has missed a deadline for creating a program to reimburse deployed troops, their friends and family members for the purchase of safety and protective gear, prompting complaints from the program’s chief congressional sponsor.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said the 2005 Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Bush Oct. 28, included a new program under which the Pentagon could provide reimbursement of up to $1,100 for the purchase of protective, health or safety equipment for deployed troops if the government could not or would not provide it.

The provision covered items purchased between Sept. 11, 2001, and July 31, 2004, either by or on behalf of service members.

Congress gave the Pentagon four months to come up with specific rules and procedures, a deadline that arrived Feb. 25, with no program in place.

For all of my support for President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and our policies regarding the Fourth World War, the body armor thing really pisses me off.

This latest story may be the esteemed Senator Dodd making noise, but WHY WOULD ANYONE LET ANYTHING GO WRONG WITH ANYONE’S BODY ARMOR AT THIS POINT?

This has been one of the legitimate criticisms of “the plan”: first the lack of foresight that left so many without armor, then the lack of foresight that left so many Guards and Reserves without armor, then the lack of speed with which the Military-Industrial Complex reacted when the real world intruded on the parade.

I would think that at this point everyone everywhere would be falling all over themselves to make sure everything that could be done was being done and that everything being done had the best-possible appearance.

I just haven’t seen that.

Many in the service paid out of their own pocket to get the protection they needed but weren’t getting. Families, many of them surely unable to afford it, went far out of their way to make sure that their loved ones or neighbors got the armor.

I’d think that some of our higher-ups would put that same level of effort and commitment into making sure that these people are reimbursed.

I just haven’t seen that, either.