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Columbia Missourian

Marines in need of more support

By DONNA J. HOLSTEN, COLUMBIA
January 6, 2008 | 10:00 a.m. CST

It was very heart-warming how the news media showed the troops in Iraq having a traditional Christmas dinner. It was a sweet photo-op for the supporters of this war. However, let me tell you about other soldiers out there.

Those soldiers were stationed at a camp where they have electricity, hot and cold running water, heat, real beds, TVs and computers and even McDonald’s.

My 20-year-old nephew is a Marine. He’s ‘stationed’ out in the field where their living quarters are the cargo containers that are parachuted in with supplies. They have no heat or soft bed. In fact, it’s now getting to 40 degrees at night and my nephew is asking for heavy socks and gloves because he’s too cold to sleep. Oh, they do have a microwave to heat up their food. My nephew recently requested that he not be sent sweets anymore. Why? The food they’re given is not near enough for their appetites so they request healthier snacks from home to fill them up — Ramen noodles, mac and cheese singles, jerky, etc. Oh yeah, for them, Christmas dinner was MREs and snacks.

So, like I said, stories about soldiers having traditional Christmas dinners are very sweet and give people the warm fuzzies. But the reality is that many of them have not had the luxury and must fight just to stay alive as well as the insurgents!

I’m told that the Army receives a lot of the ‘niceties’ and the Marines get very little. Despite that, my nephew is proud to be a Marine and would not consider a different military service. And we are very proud of him!