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Donated Body Armor Sits Unused in Iraq

Buffalo News story:

The body armor that West Seneca's American Legion Post 735 bought for Marines in Iraq is gathering dust somewhere in dusty Anbar province, thanks to Marine Corps orders preventing its use.

And the local Legionnaires who spent nearly $6,000 for the state-of-the- art protective gear are none too happy about it.

"It's asinine," said Mark McMahon, whose purchase of the body armor for his son and two of his buddies prompted the Legion post to buy 20 sets for the West Seneca Marine's entire unit.

"That body armor that's sitting around somewhere could possibly save someone from serious injury or save a life," said Charles "Phil" Kordos, the post commander.

Seems simple enough to me. Bush and his minions would rather have our troops die than to admit that we sent them with inadequate equipment.

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Rating: 4/5 (4 votes cast)

Comments (3)

Patrick Seurre:

Some marines might believe that these vests protect them more, but that doesn't necessarily make it so. What proof is there that this is really the case?

Did the marines have access to 'normal' body armour? The article doesn't seem to mention anything about them having to go on patrol without any protection.

For me personally this is less about the marines using sub standard equipment and more to do with the idea of any standard being properly defined to begin with.

Lee Ward:

From what I've read, the Spartan II vests which were purchased are a commercial version of a government-approved vest, and are not a milspec item, and as such it is against regulations for military personnel to use these vests.

See Marine Corps policy on PPE.

The manufacturer of the vests, Tactical Applications Group (TAG), states unequivocally on their website that the Spartan II vests are not identical to the Marine Corps-approved MTV vests also manufactured by TAG.

Since the commercial version of the vest is not government approved, the Marine Corps appears to me to be justified in halting the distribution of the vests.

Your righteous indignation has presented you with a great opportunity.

Give your own money to the below linked organization:


They will make sure the body armor gets there. I don't know what the Legion's logistics problems were, but the women running Soldier's Angels can get it done.

Want to conduct a matching gift campaign? Surely you do. Follow the URL and I will gladly match every gift you give or obtain for them....of course they will run the books. But if you are really upset about the armor problem then accept my challenge.

Hugh Slatery


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