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Lawmakers Are Pushing To Make It Easier For Wounded Troops To Keep Battle-Damaged Gear
The helmet that stopped a sniper’s bullet or the SAPI plate that deflected shrapnel from a roadside bomb can take on profound significance for service members wounded on the battlefield. Now, U.S. lawmakers want to ensure that combat-wounded troops can keep the gear that saved their lives as mementos.
The most recent draft of the National Defense Authorization Act that passed the Senate in June includes a provision that would authorize services to “award” both active-duty troops and veterans their personal protective equipment.
Current policy requires service members return all standard-issue equipment — including stuff destroyed in combat — when they leave the military. But exceptions are occasionally made: As Army Times noted in a recent article, “a handful of soldiers have received their helmets, bullet holes and all, in special return ceremonies over the years,” and an Army spokesman told the publication that “there are certain circumstances in which the Secretary of Army may authorize release for sentimental reasons.”
(An Army official declined to discuss the matter with Task & Purpose, saying he was unable to comment on "matters of pending legislation.”)
While Army Times reported that the military would help current and former service members “track down their old gear” and “ensure” they “get their stuff back,” there is nothing in the proposed legislation that obligates the military to do that. It would simply authorize the services to do something they seemed to believe they already have the authority to do.Here is the provision in full (see Subtitle H):
The Secretary of a military department may award to a member of the armed forces under the jurisdiction of the Secretary who is separating from the armed forces, and to any veteran formerly under the jurisdiction of the Secretary, demilitarized personal protective equipment (PPE) of the member or veteran that was damaged in combat or otherwise during the deployment of the member or veteran. The award of equipment under this section shall be without cost to the member or veteran concerned.
Is there a piece of battle-damaged gear that you wish you could’ve kept after the service? Tell us about it in the comments below.
A group of vets are raising money to pay for a medal the Iraqi government awarded them, but never delivered
In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.
The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.
A small group of veterans hopes to change that.
For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.
The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.
A doctor who treated accident victims has a radioactive isotope in his body. Russia says it came from his diet
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities said on Friday that a doctor who treated those injured in a mysterious accident this month had the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 in his body, but said it was probably put there by his diet.
The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.
Groundwater at the Air Force Academy is contaminated with the same toxic chemicals polluting a southern El Paso County aquifer, expanding a problem that has cost tens of millions of dollars to address in the Pikes Peak region.
Plans are underway to begin testing drinking water wells south of the academy in the Woodmen Valley area after unsafe levels of the chemicals were found at four locations on base, the academy said Thursday.