(AP) -- Soldiers headed for Iraq are still buying their own body armor -- and in many cases, their families are buying it for them -- despite
assurances from the military that the gear will be in hand before they're in harm's way.
Body armor distributors have received steady inquiries from soldiers and families about purchasing the gear, which can cost several thousand dollars.
Though the military has advised them not to rely on third-party suppliers, many soldiers say they want it before they deploy.
Last October, it was reported that nearly one-quarter of American troops serving in Iraq did not have ceramic plated body armor, which can stop
bullets fired from assault rifles and shrapnel.
The military says the shortfall is over and soldiers who do not yet have the armor soon will. But many want to avoid the risk.
Dan Britt paid about $1,400 for body armor for his son, a medic stationed in Kuwait who had orders to move into Baghdad. He recently heard his son
"In war, as we've learned through all our history, who gets killed and who doesn't is just happenstance," said the father from Hamilton, Ohio.
"But if I can raise the odds, then I'll feel better."
One of the richest countries in the world, and our soldiers are spending thier own money and families money for protection that they should have
before ever stepping off of a plane or boat !