Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Are you kidding me?

I find this despicable. These people are not going on vacation. No, they are going to war. They aren't packing their extra flip flops, sunscreen and souvenirs from a tropical vacation...they are going to war with the essentials. I suppose they don't have enough to worry about, they are only leaving their families and friends to go fight in a war where more than 4000 American's have died in the line of duty. No, that isn't enough; they also need to make sure they have a few spare hundreds in their pocket to afford their overweight luggage. I am just disgusted.


airJackie said...

This is how Americans support our troops, notice no Law Maker, Pentagon or White House official has a problem with charging our troops. But it's those ribbons on the car and flags in front of the homes that counts. Our troops have been paying their way from day one while Americans believed the lies told by the Media and the White House. Our troops have paid for meals, equipment, cleaning and now bags. Oh yes the contractors are getting paid for those things too with taxpayers money. The Bush Administration has made complete fools of the American people with the help of the Law Makers.

Anonymous said...

The story is very misleading and just outright incorrect. I too have deployed from Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom to Desert Storm and every operation and storm in between. The government provides each service member with a Goverment travel credit card which is mandated to be used when on official travel. Yes - service members might have to pay for excess baggage (and believe me it's hundreds of pounds of equipment and uniforms per person)but they pay for it with their gov't travel card. Deployments are a logisticaly sophisticated operation. Service members arrive at their deployment location and have the time and ability to file a partial travel voucher which will make automatic payment directly to their credit card. The service member never has to put money out of pocket or use any personal funds. At the deployed location they will also find folks to assist them with any travel or pay issues. The military even assigns a "First Sergeant" who is an higher ranking experienced service member who's job is to look out for the welfare of the troops and to cut through any red tape they might encounter. The airlines on the other hand can't be expected to fly all this additional weight free of cost to our government. It's not unpatriotic on their part - airlines are certainly doing a lot more than those silly bumper stickers they say "support our troops", which someone is making a profit on and do absoloutely nothing for the troops and make the driver feel like they are doing something to pitch in. I've been there and Im telling you - the story is extremely misleading.

Bill said...

Sorry Mr. Anonymous, but not every Soldier is provided a government travel card. Most of the Soldiers in my wife's unit (which is deploying again at the end of the month) don't have travel cards. Nor are they made to get one.

The fact that "Deployments are a logisticaly sophisticated operation" is immaterial to the subject.

My wife's deployment orders only allow for two bags when it's a know fact that nobody deploys with just two bags. At a minimum two duffle bags (which weigh more than seventy pounds a piece) and a rucksack at a minimum. Let's not forget the battle rattle and brain bucket that is worn. Oh, and let's not forget that heavy flak vest either. These are costs that should be transparent to the troop when they arrive, under military orders, at the Port of Debarkation.

I have zero sympathy for the airlines. They nickle and dime you for everything now, and then add a "fuel surcharge" on top of everything else. What's next? Charging someone to use the oxygen masks in case of loss to cabin air pressure?

Anonymous said...

Then your wife's unit is doing a very poor job intaking care of their soldiers. Goverment travel Cards are mandatory by the JTR (Joint Travel Regs) and all service members should have one. As a matter fact the JTR requires that all Official travel is done via the gov't travel card. As for the deployment orders - you are correct. They typically allow only 2 personal bags PLUS whatever professinal gear such as A,B or C bags. I will say that some units do much better jobs than others but that really has nothing to do with the airlines. the airlines have a right to charge for additional weight being flown especially in light of the astronomical rise in fuel costs. Airlines operate at very very thin profit margins. It's our goverment that should burden the costs of getting our troops overseas not the soldier and there is a process in place to take care of this and deploy without money coming out of service members pockets. If the unit can't do a good job in taking care of their people and preparing them for deployment them shame on them. That is is where the criticism needs to highlight.

Nnairda's said...

Wow! This is a lively discussion. I'm going to have to do a little more research.


Water Balloons

When my kids told me they didn't know what to do with themselves yesterday I suggested they go outside and play with the water balloons....