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I couldn’t agree more with the March 7 letter “GIs can do these jobs.” Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, servicemembers have been replaced by civilian contractors hired to perform support jobs. Let’s get rid of these civilian contractors and go back to paying for that labor for a fraction of the cost by using our own servicemembers.

I recently heard on American Freedom Radio that the U.S. and Afghanistan were looking to partner past the 2014 deadline (to pull troops out) in order to maintain an advise-and-assist mission. Isn’t that what we’re doing right now in Iraq?

Our government wants to save. The members of Congress should stop giving themselves pay raises and do what we’re required to do, complete another 20 years of service before collecting their retirement checks.

Another great way to save money is to stop “pork barrel” spending (also called “earmark” spending) on projects. This spending, more often than not, results in large sums of our taxpayer money used to help a small number of people. Note that $27 billion alone was spent in 2005 on more than 14,000 earmark projects, all approved by Congress!

Defense projects that take five years or more to complete sound like another way to milk the cow. Every spending project should be submitted separately, so we taxpayers can see where our money goes and for what. We’re accountable for our finances, so why isn’t Congress?

Troops need the gear and equipment, now, to take the fight to our nation’s enemies, be successful and go home. Our country owes it to our servicemembers to outfit them with the very best equipment and gear available as soon as possible. Otherwise, we’ll just end up suffering more casualties, all because someone wanted to get rich.

Staff Sgt. Peter Trompeter

Al-Asad Air Base, Iraq

Contractors are still needed

Regarding the March 7 letter “GIs can do those jobs” about deploying soldiers and Marines to do contract work: With Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom lasting almost 10 years, this idea is ludicrous. Many have been deployed many times and been away from their families for years. To even suggest deploying them unnecessarily shows a lack of consideration for the troops.

Perhaps the letter writer speaks for himself and not for the troops. As a veteran of both conflicts and a current contractor, I can say from experience that deploying our military to do contract work is not feasible for them or our beloved country.

First Sgt. Tim Cunningham (retired)

Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

Migrated

Stripes in 7



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