Morning Reading, March 2: WWII vets struggle to get back to Iwo Jima, and the day's top links
Published: March 2, 2010
They range in age from 85 to 97 and they've flown halfway across the world. The group of 12 World War II veterans arrived on Okinawa on Saturday, what they meant to be a stop on their way to Iwo Jima where they planned to attend a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the epic battle. But now, Charlie Reed reports, they have no way to get there. A charter plane company that had volunteered to fly them has backed out and the U.S. military declined to take them the rest of the way, fearing that it would set an unsustainable precedent.
"Reality is kicking in," said Timothy Davis, president of the Greatest Generation Foundation. "Come the 70th anniversary, most of them are going to be dead."
Military officials recommended the foundation arrange the flight with another company, but the foundation can't afford the $50,000 it would cost, after spending $150,000 getting the group -- which includes students and journalists chronicling the trip -- to Okinawa.
Meanwhile, Seth Robson in Haiti reports on a Ramstein, Germany-based unit that, even as Haitian medical facilities improve, still is called on to airlift patients to the U.S. to receive care not available on the island.
As clock ticks, WWII vets need help getting back to Iwo Jima (Stars and Stripes)
Germany-based unit still flying Haitians to U.S. hospitals (Stars and Stripes)
Army testing new policy on civilian sexual assault reporting (Stars and Stripes)
Offensive in Marjah entering a new phase (The Washington Post)
Taliban militants find haven in slums of karachi (Los Angeles Times)
Iraqis awash in gifts from candidates (The New York Times)