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Boot off-base about troops' living conditions

July 10, 2006

Re "Our enemies aren't drinking lattes," Opinion, July 5

Max Boot paints a distorted image of life for U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Far from dormitory-style housing, a containerized housing unit is 160 square feet, with two or more soldiers sharing a unit. While we do have good gym facilities, exercise is needed to maintain sanity and fitness when we're confined to a one-square mile or smaller base. The food is pretty good, but the menus rarely change and repeat every few days. The fast-food restaurants are located in trailers and are on only the largest bases.

While Boot was at the Green Beans coffee shop in Baqubah, he probably noticed the constant stream of vehicles departing on combat patrols or returning from missions.

It is ridiculous to point out the few comfort items we have as symptoms of misguided war policy.

And the U.S. goal is not to defeat the insurgency; it is to assist the Iraqi Security Forces with defeating the insurgency, and we continue to transfer responsibility to the security forces.

MAJ. PATRICK CREED

Forward Operating Base Warhorse

Baqubah, Iraq

*

Through three years of this senseless war, Boot has used his column to support this immoral endeavor. When he finally brings up the issue of its reprehensible costs, he complains not about the corporate and bureaucratic waste or the tremendous costs of deployment.

Rather, he complains that our troops have lattes, Burger Kings and consume "882,000 liters of water ... every day." These brave young men and women are risking life and limb for him, and he has the audacity to imply that it is too expensive to supply them with a few luxuries. I guess he would have them live out their tours of duty in fox holes eating MREs.

Oh, and while we're at it, let's quit wasting so much money on the doctors, nurses and hospitals. Saving soldiers' lives costs even more money.

MARYANNE ROSE

Laguna Niguel

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