Who’s Protecting Whom?
"I’m a contractor in Iraq. I’m also a former Marine and veteran of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
Too many times I walk around Baghdad International Airport and see contractors carrying weapons. Why is there a necessity to carry them into the dining facilities? Why are they carrying them around in the first place? Are we being overrun?
Having worked security in Anbar Province and logistics in central Iraq as well, I can tell you firsthand that a majority of the contractors carrying weapons around base aren’t even working in a capacity that requires they carry a weapon. And most of those who do never even leave the base. So why are they carrying weapons?
Major companies such as Blackwater, Erinys and those that actually do provide a security service for the U.S. government are the exception. I fully support the idea of weapons cards for contractors. Additionally, I support that those personnel should provide proof of training with those weapons and only carry them outside the wire.
Seriously, are the 20,000 soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen on BIAP not enough to defend us? Hmmm … I see these guys all the time, walking around with their Wiley-Xs on and their 5.11 cargo pants, and their tactical vests. Just get over yourselves, guys. You’re a joke. And more importantly, you make us other contractors look bad.
Tell you what. Next time you go outside the wire, bring your weapon with you. But do you really need to arm up to go to the chow hall? Or maybe you think you’re the one protecting all these Marines, soldiers, airmen and sailors every time you go into the chow hall. The reality of it is, boys and girls, they’re protecting you."
Camp Liberty, Iraq (Stars & Stripes: Letters to the Editor)
...girls of the US Armed Forces...
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