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Thursday’s letters to the editor: Mine-resistant vehicles save soldiers’ lives

Mine-resistant vehicles save soldiers’ lives
The headline read, “They died from wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.” In fact, it should have read, “They died from wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their Humvee.”
How many more brave soldiers must die or be handicapped for life due to the enemy’s IEDs and the Defense Department’s Humvees?
On May 8, 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that the acquisition of MRAPs was the highest priority; for fiscal year 2007, $1.1 billion was earmarked for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Gates decided to ramp up MRAP orders after the Marines reported in 2004 that no troops had died in more than 300 IED attacks on MRAPs. As of May 6, 2008, eight soldiers had been reported killed in the thousands of MRAPs in Iraq, according to a Knight Ridder report.
MRAPs are designed to survive IED attacks and ambushes. IEDs cause the majority of U.S. deaths in Iraq. Brig. General Michael Brogan of the U.S. Marine Corps is in charge of the MRAP program, for which the Marines are the lead service. The Marine Corps had planned to replace all Humvees in combat zones with MRAP vehicles, although this appears to have changed.
As armored vehicles are considered an “urgent need” in Iraq and Afghanistan, this program is primarily funded under an “emergency war budget.”
As parents of an American soldier, we ask why our soldiers are still riding and dying in Humvees, even the up-armored ones.
How can we be so far along in this war on terror yet we still have not solved this Achilles Heel?
How can we bail out banks and automakers, but not protect American soldiers?
I urge all citizens to write or call our U.S. senators and demand answers.
ó Tommy and Lynn Smith
Kannapolis
$20 on 20th really worked
Many thanks to the Salisbury Post, Chamber of Commerce, Rowan County and the city of Salisbury for sponsoring the 20/20 campaign that encouraged Rowan residents to get out on July 20 and spend at least $20 to help boost Rowan’s economy. It worked!!
I hope the rest of the businesses in the county fared as well as downtown Salisbury. There was a lot of activity on Main Street as customers flooded our stores to spend their $20.
Many thanks to all of you who came out to spend. You made a huge difference in helping Rowan’s economy this day. On behalf of all the local merchants, we thank you for understanding the need to shop our local businesses based in Rowan County. Please come back and see us again soon.
ó Pam Hylton Coffield
Salisbury

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