Thursday, March 03, 2005

CWO Darrell Birt's Reward for Serving in Iraq

This is a post from Pass it on.

The short of it...a unit in Iraq, an Army Reserve transportation crew that moves fuel to the front lines, got to Iraq short on trucks, mounts for their guns, and parts. Sounds familiar...remember that soldier complaining about "hillbilly armor" to Donald Rumsfeld during a morale boosting visit by the Secretary of Defense?

Well, the unit CO, Major Cathy Kaus, was presented an idea by a couple of her officers..."appropriate" some abandoned Army vehicles and use them for their mission needs. One they stripped for parts, another they drove in with their own. [...]

A soldier in the unit turned them in for the taking of the trucks. Now, "midnight requisitions" have a long history in the military. You do what you have's not for personal gain, but to fix the broken equipment, to do the job, to get the gear you need to stay alive and accomplish the mission. When it's found out, it's often overlooked...or at worst you get reprimanded or get a good ass-chewing.

Not so in this case. [...]

Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, is enough of an asshole to tell troops, well, basically, "tough shit" when they complain of lack of adequate supplies/armor/guns/ammo on the front lines. And then guys like those in the 656th bend over backwards, go above and beyond, get decorations for doing whatever it takes to get the mission done and get fuel to the troops on the front...and then GET A DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE!!!!

The situation is nearly destroying the Birt family...while the appeals work through, Maj. Kaus has been allowed to stay on active duty, but CW2 Birt has been processed out. The financial disruption and emotional anguish has shaken the faith of this family, a devoutly Christian and tightly knit one that has been devastated by the mistreatment the Army has served them. I've been in contact via email with Janet Birt, Darrell's wife, and it pains me to hear what they are going through. But through it all, CW2 Birt has remained a faithful American and loyal soldier, who still says he'd return to Iraq in a minute if they let him. [...]

Here's how you can help:

Petition the U.S. Congress.

Petition the General hearing their appeals.

Write your Congressional delegation.

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And if you are a this story.