This is a photo of the grandson of a lady I go to church with. His name is Tony Lutz and he was killed outside Fallujah, Iraq, when a sniper's bullet hit him where his body armor was not.
The thing that is truly tragic about this is that if our government had been willing to pay a few dollars more, this young man might be alive.
There have been news reports in recent days that the body armor supplied to our troops -- like Tony -- is defective. Apparently the Pentagon has decided its too expensive to buy stuff that would adequately protect our troops - like putting enough armor on their humvees - so they give them something that is adequate, but deadly.
Now this should be elementary. These young men and women are fighting a war of dubious purpose, supposedly to guarantee the freedom of the rest of us. But they are not being given the best equipment available to do that job. They are given what we - that's right we - will pay for. Because it is our tax dollars that fund the Pentagon and the rest of the Government.
And a report on CBS News last week said that the so-called "insurgents" in Iraq - the guys like the sniper who killed Tony Lutz - are being taught to aim for the seams in the armor so they can kill Americans.
I don't know about you, but I find that ridiculous. The Army of course says that it is committed to providing the best equipment possible, but if that's the case, why did an unreleased study last summer by the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner conclude that of the fatal torso wounds it saw, most of them were at the edges of the armor plating. The report said that a larger plate or superior protection around the plate would have prevented the fatalities.
Tony's funeral is Friday in Arlington, Virginia. Pray for his family. He has two kids, both under six. His grandmother's name is Terri. Pray for her too. And when you're done praying, write your congressman and senators and do something about this ridiculous situation.