While we are celebrating the Holiday season, we all need to think about our troops overseas this year. I just read an article from Stars and Stripes.
The Marines of 9th Engineer Support Battalion, out of Okinawa, were headed out on a night mission and had been told that day they wouldn’t be allowed to wear any of their Corps-issued cold weather gear to keep warm.
. . . On this particular night, it was forecasted to be 34 degrees Fahrenheit with the wind chill factor.
The problem is the cold weather gear is made of synthetic material, namely polypropylene, which the U.S. military has learned — the hard way — melts much like plastic around fire, such as during a roadside bomb explosion, and can cause burns.Last week, Marine Brig. Gen. Robert Neller, deputy commander of Multi-National Forces — West, sent out guidance to his commands banning the gear from being worn outside the wire in Iraq. Only natural fibers, ideally cotton or wool, or flame-retardant material can be worn.
Polypro layering garments under the Goretex outer shell is the whole point of their cold weather gear, so this could result in some serious hardship and discomfort, especially for the kids up in the turrets. I think of my boys freezing their nards off while they continue the mission as they wait for the supply system to kick in with replacement items, and wonder if there isn’t something I and my friends and neighbors can do to provide some comfort? I’m going to email 1LT Duesterhaus and ask him. I’ll let you know what he says.
I received this E-mail from 1Lt. Duesterhaus today. I want to thank all my friends who stepped up to help me organize what is now no longer needed. It warms my heart that so many of my friends care about our troops as much as I do! I rarely talk about all my boys because I keep them in my heart ( and pray constantly for their well being) my friends all came together to help and for that I will always be so grateful.
Thank you for your offer to help out the troops over here in
Iraq. Your support, especially during this holiday season, is much appreciated. Currently our stocks of flame resistant gear are sufficient to support my entire unit. The men and women of
America’s Armed Forces over here work very hard every day to ensure that the warfighter is adequately prepared to go on missions and as safe as possible. Whether it is cold weather gear or extra armor we consistently get what we need to stay in the fight. Thank you again for your support!
1stLt G. M. Duesterhaus