Friday, August 01, 2008

The costs of war

(Dada note: The following was inspired by a story appearing in yesterday's El Paso Times.)

American Airlines has charged a Texas National Guard soldier $100 for his additional third bag he needed to transfer all his military gear with him to Iraq. There's no way the Staff Sergeant could have carried all his equipment, to include boots, foul-weather gear, uniforms and the like, in just two bags.*

But American Airlines, feeling the squeeze of increased fuel charges, was unsympathetic and like many air carriers has had to add extra charges for extra bags.

"Other soldiers make it with only two bags. Maybe if the good sergeant had had his wife or mother pack his bags he would have avoided the extra bag charge, " an unnamed American Airlines official said. (The story did not reveal if the SSgt. has a wife or a mother who is still alive.)

The soldier may apply to the Texas National Guard for reimbursement for the $100, but it is not clear if the Guard will honor his claim.

This is just another sad example of the sacrifices and costs being born by, not only our soldiers, but by citizens stateside supporting them. Dada knows of one woman personally who is on her fourth car ribbon magnet.

"I've had to replace three ribbon magnets! They fade, you know," she said ruefully. "Oh, one was stolen."

"But I had no idea this Iraq liberation thing would drag out longer than World War II, the sacrifices I would have to make to support our troops for cripes sake!"

"I've had two 'Support the Troops,' " she continued. The first one of those was stolen after a couple months. The second one was so faded I had to replace it somewhere in the war's third year. I replaced that with a 'Support the Troops, Bring 'em Home' ribbon magnet which lasted nearly two years under this desert's brutal sun."

When I asked her about her current ribbon, a blue colored magnet which simply reads "Peace" on it she said: "I want this damn thing to end. I've sacrificed enough. Hell, I'm out over 30 bucks!"

Detecting the anger and stress in her voice at what she's sacrificed to support the troops, I said sympathetically, "Thirty dollars for four magnets? That's a lot."

"Yeh, well, that includes the costs of shipping," she conceded.

* per the EPTimes article, "American Airlines' baggage policy allows service members one checked 100-pound duffel-type bag, one standard checked 50-pound suitcase and one standard carry-on suitcase of up to 40 pounds, for a total of 190 pounds of free luggage."


Border Explorer said...

OMG, let's start calling the blog "Dada's Daffy." How ridiculous on so many levels; ya gotta love it. For instance, I love the blatent sexism by AAirline's spokesperson. Someone needs to give that guy a workshop.

I'm ready for a USA rationing program. There were sacrifices required at home, as well as by the "cannon fodder" folk in
WWII, maybe that's a reason why it wasn't a long, drawn out affair...

enigma4ever said...

Well, I gotta say as a Mama, I would have had something to say to eduate the AAirlines person- what the.....WHY do OUR Service people have to pay - PERIOD ????? they are sacrificing just showing up- but they should not have to pay anything to go to Iraq- that is effin-nuts....

I watched a neighbor up the street throw his magnets out...and this week I noticed a "Buck Fush " sticker on his car...I think he is entering a whole new phase with the "war"....

great post made us laugh....well, at this point what else can we do...

Fran said...

I think this should make national news...I'll even give a headline concept

I bet a bunch of Vets & the like would not only cover his tab, but pitch a fit (turn loose the angry villagers on congress).

This is just over the top. I've heard Ntl Guard soldiers have to purchase & pack their own protective vests.

This is just an all time low.

Could trigger bad publicity for American airlines and maybe a boycott... at a time they can not afford it.

That would make them change their tune/policy mighty quick.


dada said...

I remember a story told me by a dear friend about her NM Nat'l Guard son who was being sent to Iraq. (He'd joined the Guard to help fight wildfires or floods somewhere in New Mexico.)

The very last weekend she spent with him before he shipped was scouring war surplus stores for an armor plated vest and a few others protective items the Guard wasn't given (that I think the regulars had).

I guess it was just another 'sacrifice' for war we 'all' must make, huh?